A statistician, Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, has advised politicians and government at all levels against reckless fiscal spending to prevent inflation ahead of the 2019 elections.
Olubusoye, a lecturer at the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, while reacting to March inflation figures.
Nigeria’s inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped from 14.33 in February to 13.34 per cent in March year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The don said reckless fiscal spending was one of many causes of inflation.
He explained that politicians of the leading parties usually raised and spent huge funds for their campaigns during elections.
Olubusoye said the campaign funds increase the money in circulation and fuels inflation.
“Election year is usually a spending year and the tendency is there to have inflation triggered by the careless spending on the part of the government.
“This is because of re-election bid and efforts of the opposition to outwit the party in power,” he said.
Speaking on the inflation figures, Olubusoye said the price level actually rose marginally by 0.8 per cent in March when compared to the price level in February.
He, however, said the price level in March 2018 compared to what was observed in March 2017, the figure increased by 13.34 per cent.
“This figure of 13.34 per cent is what is called inflation rate.
“The simple meaning is that the price level of goods and services in Nigeria increased by 13.34 per cent between March 2017 and March this year,’’ observed Olubusoye.
He explained that the March CPI figures showed 14 consecutive reductions in inflation rate since January 2017.
The don said thatvthe rates had been dropping since January 2017 repeatedly for 14 periods.
“In particular, it dropped from 14.33 per cent in February 2018 to 13.34 per cent in March 2018 which is about 0.99 percentage points; this analysis simply reveals two important points.
“The prices of goods and services have been increasing for 14 months consecutively.
“The rate of increase in the price level of one month compared to the corresponding month in the preceding year for each of the 14 consecutive months is, however, declining.
“In fact, the rates of decline are so small to the extent that they are not,” he said.
Olubusoye said it was obvious that the figures were telling the truth about the price situation in the country.