The Impact of Inflation and Refinery Operations on Nigeria's Economy

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Aug 21, 2023

3 min read


The Impact of Inflation and Refinery Operations on Nigeria's Economy


In recent news, two significant developments have caught the attention of Nigerians - the announcement that the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence operations in December and the alarming growth in the country's inflation rate. These events have sparked discussions about their potential impact on the economy and the welfare of the Nigerian people. In this article, we will explore the connection between these two issues and provide actionable advice on how to navigate these challenging times.

The Port Harcourt Refinery and its Delayed Revival:

One of the key factors contributing to Nigeria's economic woes is the delayed revival of the Port Harcourt Refinery. This refinery, which has swallowed trillions of naira with a slow pace of work progress, has left many questioning the government's priorities. Critics argue that if the refinery had been revived before removing fuel subsidies, the inflationary pressure could have been mitigated. The logic behind this argument is that if the Port Harcourt Refinery resumes operations before the Dangote Refinery, Dangote will become a price taker for his products. However, if the Dangote Refinery starts production first, it will have the power to set prices, potentially leading to higher costs for consumers.

Connecting Inflation and Refinery Operations:

The connection between inflation and refinery operations is crucial to understanding the current economic landscape in Nigeria. With the announcement that the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence production in December, there is hope that the increased supply of petroleum products will alleviate some of the inflationary pressures. However, it is important to note that the damage has already been done, and prices of commodities may not immediately come down. This highlights the need for proactive measures to address inflation and its impact on the economy.

The Rising Inflation Rate and its Challenges:

The alarming growth in Nigeria's inflation rate, which grew by 1.13% year-on-year for May, has presented significant challenges for consumers and the economy at large. The combination of inflationary pressure and contractionary monetary policies has led to a surge in prices, making it increasingly difficult for ordinary Nigerians to afford basic necessities. This situation calls for urgent action from policymakers to find sustainable solutions that can stabilize the economy and protect the welfare of the people.

Actionable Advice for Navigating the Economic Challenges:

  • 1. Increase Minimum Wage: To alleviate the burden on Nigerian workers, it is crucial to increase the minimum wage to reflect the rising cost of living. This will provide much-needed relief to workers and stimulate economic growth by putting more money in the hands of consumers.
  • 2. Improve Infrastructure: The revival of the Port Harcourt Refinery is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to enhance Nigeria's infrastructure. Investments in transportation, power, and telecommunications will not only boost economic activities but also attract foreign direct investment, creating job opportunities and reducing the reliance on imports.
  • 3. Diversify the Economy: Nigeria's heavy reliance on oil exports leaves the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil prices. To build a more resilient economy, there is a need to diversify into other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and technology. This will reduce the country's exposure to external shocks and create a more sustainable path for economic growth.


The revival of the Port Harcourt Refinery and the rising inflation rate are two interconnected issues that require immediate attention from policymakers and stakeholders. While the announcement of the refinery's operations brings hope for increased petroleum product supply, the damage caused by inflation has already impacted the economy. By implementing actionable measures such as increasing the minimum wage, improving infrastructure, and diversifying the economy, Nigeria can navigate these economic challenges and build a more prosperous future for its citizens.

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