Rising Inflation Could Trigger Social Unrest in Nigeria—AfDB

February 18, 2024
Social Unrest in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has raised an alarm that rising prices of fuel, food, and other commodities could lead to social unrest in Nigeria.

The multilateral lender warned that Nigeria was not the sole country at the mercy of such upheaval, adding that Ethiopia, Angola, and Kenya were also placed on high alert.

The bank made this disclosure in its macroeconomic performance and outlook for 2024 in which it projected Africa’s economy to grow higher to 3.8 per cent in 2024, an increase compared to the 3.2 per cent recorded in 2023.

The AfDB also said economic growth on the continent will consolidate at 4.2 per cent in 2025.

However, the bank cautioned that an increase in fuel and commodity prices occasioned by currency depreciation or subsidy removal in Nigeria, Angola, Kenya and Ethiopia could trigger internal conflicts.

It stated, “Internal conflicts and violence could also result from rising prices for fuel and other commodities due to weaker domestic currencies and reforms.

“For instance, the removal of fuel subsidies in Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria and the resulting social costs has led to social unrest driven by opposition to government policy,” the bank said.

AfDB warned that inflation in Africa has been increasing since the beginning of the COVID- 19 pandemic and remains stubbornly high, threatening macro economic stability.

Also, the AfDB said the rise of geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East in addition to the El Nino phenomenon, may trigger supply chain disruptions, which could aggravate energy and food inflation across the world with Africa more vulnerable to these shocks.

Speaking on the report, the President of the Addis Ababa-based lender, Mr Akinwumi Adesina said despite rising uncertainty and geopolitical fragmentation, building resilience should remain a strategic priority for Africa.

“Africa’s projected higher growth reflects efforts by countries to diversify their economies and implement domestic policies to reverse the increase in living costs and boost private consumption. However, global risks and pockets of domestic imbalances pose challenges.

“Geopolitical tensions could disrupt supply chains and reig nite commodity price hikes. Inflationary pressures in Africa remain entrenched and have eroded people’s purchasing power and adversely affected livelihoods.

“Higher global interest rates and elevated capital costs have increased debt service payments. This
has constrained investment in growth-creating sectors and human capital development.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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