The effect of the partial removal of petrol subsidy on consumers was recognised yesterday in official quarters.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday, in its report for the month of January 2012, said the inflation rate has risen to 12.6 per cent, representing a 2.2 percent increase on the 10.3 percent recorded in December 2011.
According to the report, the fuel hike pushed up prices of many food and non-food items as a result of the increase in transportation costs.
In computing this, the bureau said the market items comprised 740 goods and services priced across all 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
It explained that the inflationary impact of the fuel hike was largely concentrated on the urban areas, relative to the rural areas where most Nigerians live.
The report also explained that the inflation rate, though significant, was moderated by several demand factors last month.
It said inflation was expected to drop to between 8 per cent and 9 per cent last month, assuming there was no partial removal of subsidy.
The earlier tightening by the CBN helped to curtail the overall impact on inflation last month following the fuel hike, the bureau said.
Another factor, it said, was the slow release of funds by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the month of January, which reduced consumption and expenditure last month.
The federal government scrapped petrol subsidy on January 1, this year, but was forced to partially reinstate a part of it to quell quell protests over the cost of petrol.