… As FG plans to auction N70bn bonds May 23***
Nigerians on Tuesday expressed disgust with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which inflation measurement puts Consumer Price Index (CPI), for April indicated a decrease to 12.48 per cent (year-on-year) from 13.38 per cent recorded in March.
Respondents stressed that they could not understand how NBS reports kept showing a slide, when School fees remained unchanged, cost of loaves of bread remained constant, house rents constant, cost of medicines keeps going up, transport fares constant, even as the cost of the orchestrated bags of rice refused to bulge.
The NBS in its CPI and Inflation Report for April, posted on its Website on Tuesday, highlighted a decrease representing 0.86 per cent and the lowest since February 2016. By the current publication, the NBS was actually indicating for the fifteenth consecutive time, that the inflation rate has declined since January 2017.
“It is either that this Bureau people are either deliberating falsifying facts, or merely playing to the Government gallery, for political reasons”, an importer, Samuel Egbewole stated in Apapa, Lagos, adding that he expected the NBS statistics to mirror reality on ground.
“The NBS periodically feeds us with jaundiced statistics. We don’t bother looking at it again”, a market woman, Khadijat Bello highlighted, stressing that she believes some of the statistical data were sourced at beer joints, recalling how she laughed scornfully a week before, when her husband was negotiating for a scaling down of family budget, based on NBS inflation sliding statistics.
The bureau however reported increases in all the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index, stressing the rural inflation rate also dropped to 12.13 per cent in April from 12.99 per cent in March.
On month-on-month basis, it said the urban index rose to 0.85 per cent from 0.86 per cent recorded in March. The NBS said the rural index also remained unchanged from 0.82 per cent from the figure obtained in March.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has offered for subscription by auction N70 billion worth of bonds in its May 23 auction, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said.
The offer circular obtained from its website on Tuesday in Abuja, stated that it would sell N20 billion of a five-year re-opening issue maturing in April 2023 at 12.75 per cent.
It would also sell N20 billion seven-year re-opening bond to mature in March 2025 at 13.53 per cent and another N30 billion 10-year re-opening bond at 13.98 per cent to mature in Feb. 2028.
Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.