Photograph — ThisDayLive

The Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics recently released a report on Nigerians total spending, which indicated that about N22.8 trillion was spent on food in 2019. This is about 57 percent of the total spending (N40.2 trillion) for that period.

Of the overall spending on food, the largest chunk expenditure of N4 trillion was spent on food consumed outside the home. This includes food gotten from restaurants, bars, roadside joints, among others. Starchy roots, tubers, and plantain are the next most consumed food items at N25 trillion, followed by rice, N1.9 trillion, and vegetables, N1.7 trillion.

Among the least bought food items include beverages that cost Nigerians N296.6 billion; confectioneries accounted for N205.5 billion, while they spent N150.2 billion on both bottled and can alcoholic drinks.

The survey also detailed the non-food expenditure of Nigerians in the same year. It shows that about N17.4 trillion (about 43 percent of their spending) was spent on non-food expenses in 2019. Transportation accounted for N2.6 trillion, health (N2.5 trillion), education (N24.4 trillion), and telecommunication services (N2.2 trillion) top the list in this category.

In the same year of review, other expenses incurred by Nigerians are (N2 trillion), clothing and footwear N1.8 trillion, household goods for N1.1 trillion, entertainment(N428.2 billion), water(N197.6 billion).

The overall reports show that South-West recorded the highest in terms of household expenditure as well as the highest expenditure on food and in non-food categories, while the north-east, excluding Borno state, recorded the least. The south-west recorded 29.95 percent of the total expenditure, south-south at 20.94 percent and north-west at about 17.02 percent. Putting the three regions together, it amounted to 67 percent of the total consumption expenditure in Nigeria in 2019.

Of the highest consumption expenditure, Lagos recorded a total of N5.1trillion(13 percent of Nigeria’s), followed by N2.3 trillion (5.83) in Oyo, Delta’s N2.1 trillion (5.38 percent), Rivers, N2 trillion (4.49) and Kano State N1.97 trillion (4.91 percent).

However, the Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS) findings show that the consumption pattern toppled over non-food items. The survey which was carried out between September 2018, and October 2019 across 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, Abuja concluded that the more developed a society becomes, the less it spends on food and the more it spends on non-food items.

“In most developed countries, it is the opposite, where the consumption pattern is skewed towards non-food items,” the nation’s statistics bureau wrote in the report. “Lagos is a clear indication of a state with an emerging economy. Lagos state’s expenditure on non-food items was more than its expenditure on food.”

It is expected that findings by the NBS would be included in the computation of final household expenditure, a component used by the country’s statistics bureau to be included in the gross domestic report.

By Ahmed Iyanda.

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