Food prices push Nigerian annual inflation up to 11.61 pct in Oct


By Alexis Akwagyiram

LAGOS, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Higher food prices after borders with neighbouring countries were closed in a crackdown on smuggling pushed up annual inflation in Nigeria last month.

Annual inflation was 11.61% in October, up from 11.24% in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. A separate food price index showed inflation at 14.09% in October, compared with 13.51% a month earlier.

Consumer inflation had hit an almost four year-low in August.

"This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of meat, oils and fats, bread and cereals, potatoes, ham and other tubers, fish and vegetables," the statistics office said in its report.

Nigeria closed parts of its borders in August to tackle smuggling of rice and other goods. The head of customs confirmed last month that all trade in goods via land borders had been halted indefinitely.

Last week the West African country, along with neighbouring Benin and Niger, agreed to set up a joint border patrol force to tackle smuggling between the nations after a meeting between their foreign ministers.

(Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Alex Richardson and Catherine Evans)

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