Despite the slight increase in crude oil production and international crude prices from March to April, poor macroeconomic conditions persist. The National Bureau of Statistics indicates the annual inflation rate dropped by .05 percent from March to 18.12 percent in April. This is the first decline in inflation since the closure of the land borders in about 20 months. The value of the NGN continues to depreciate and traded at 482 NGN/USD on the parallel market in mid-May. The Central Bank did not report the official exchange rate in May, leading to some speculation by investors that the government may unify the multiple exchange rate, which will likely increase foreign investment. As a result, atypically high food prices, lower household purchasing power, and reduced market access persist.
The security situation in the northeast continues to deteriorate, leading to an increase in the population who have been displaced multiple times, further constrained humanitarian access, and persistent restricted engagement in livelihood and income-earning activities. According to IOM, as of February, over 2.1 million people are displaced across the six northeast states, an increase of about two percent relative to December 2020. Conflict between March and May in Dikwa, Marte, Mobbar, and Kaga LGAs in Borno state led to the multiple displacement of about 50,000 people. Similar attacks in Geidam and Yunusari LGAs in Yobe state in April and May resulted in the displacement of another 180,000 people. Daily or weekly attacks persist in several areas, limiting humanitarian access and constraining assistance delivery to affected households. Many of these households are dependent on limited community support and markets to access food. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist in much of the northeast, with inaccessible areas facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4). A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists in a worst-case scenario if households are cut off from their typical food and income sources and humanitarian assistance for a prolonged period of time.
Attacks related to banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and militancy in areas outside northeastern Nigeria persist. Recent attacks are reported in areas of the northwestern, north-central, southeastern, and southwestern areas of the country are leading to high displacement and many in search of new income-earning opportunities and food sources. According to UNHCR, in February, over 63,000 Cameroonian refugees, mainly residing in Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, and Taraba States. Many of these households have resorted to petty trading and unskilled labor to earn little income, depending mainly on markets to access food. This, combined with atypical staple prices, is driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) among conflict-affected households outside the northeast.
Rainfall in bimodal and central areas has been erratic to start the season. Some early-season negative anomalies have been observed across much of the central and southern areas of the country. The early season deficits are not of significant concern due to the favorable 2021 seasonal forecast; however, the rainfall deficits in southwestern areas have negatively impacted newly planted crops, including cassava, yams, and maize, causing some wilting. Farmers in these areas will likely replant when steady rainfall occurs in the coming weeks. In central areas of the country, land preparation activities are ongoing, with a likely timely start to the season in late June.