Inflation: Nigerians resort to loans as consumer credit jumps by 12% in January 2024

Nigerians have resorted to loans as one of their survival strategies, as a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, said consumer credit jumped by 12 per cent to approximately ₦3.9bn in January 2024, riding on the back of majorly heightened inflation.

According to CBN’s latest monthly economic report, the total consumer credit outstanding increased to N3,823bn in January 2024.

The report further explained that a disaggregation of consumer credit revealed, that personal loans increased by 14.3 per cent to N3,028bn from N2,649bn in December 2023.

Retail loans rose by 4 per cent to N795bn, as personal loans accounted for 79 per cent of consumer credit, while retail loans accounted for 21 per cent.

Consumer credit, as a share of total credit from Online Data Capture Systems (ODCs), however, declined to about 7 per cent, from 8 per cent in the preceding month, the report added.

This is as the headline inflation rate as provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),  hit 33.95 per cent in May, forcing the apex bank to hike the interest rate consecutively to 26.25 per cent.

The rising inflation has since seen Nigerians grappling with the effect of the worst economic crisis, as the cost of living escalates.

A study by SBM Intelligence found that 27 per cent of Nigerians across different income categories now resort to loan apps to keep up with their living expenses in the wake of record inflation.

The surge in demand for these loan apps is indicative of the severe impact of the unyielding inflationary pressures on the daily lives of Nigerians, especially those already grappling with limited financial resources.

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