Business Insights

Average Cost of a Healthy Diet in Nigeria now N1,035

The most recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that the average national cost of a healthy diet (CoHD) for April 2024 has increased to N1,035 per day, marking a 5.4% rise from the previous month’s N982.

The CoHD signifies the most economical combination of locally accessible food items that align with global food-based dietary and nutritional guidelines, indicating that an average Nigerian needs to allocate N1,035 daily for a healthy diet.

Cost of a Healthy Diet on Regionalbasis

In terms of regional breakdown of the Cost of a Healthy Diet, the South-West region has the highest cost, with an average adult spending N1,406 per day, followed by the South East at N1,190 per day, while the North-West region has the lowest at N781 per day.

With the current month-on-month increase of 5.4%, the Cost of a Healthy Diet – CoHD – is on an unsustainable trajectory and could potentially surge by an average of 64.8% within a year. Various factors, such as the high inflation rate of 33.69% in April and elevated food inflation of 40.53%, contribute to the escalation in the CoHD. Disruptions in food production due to insecurity and banditry in the northern region are also playing a role in driving up food inflation and the Cost of a Healthy Diet.

The current scenario is concerning, especially for low-income individuals who may struggle to afford a healthy diet as their incomes stagnate. Furthermore, as nutritious food becomes less affordable, many Nigerians may turn to cheaper, less nutritious alternatives, increasing the risk of malnutrition and related health problems.

Approximately 16% of Nigerians are projected to experience a severe food crisis by Q3. To avert this, the government should enhance investments in agriculture through farmer support schemes, social safety nets, and improved food distribution channels. Priority should be given to addressing insecurity comprehensively so that farmers can safely return to their fields.

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