Cost Of Living: Nigerians Groan, Set Agenda For Tinubu


Six months into the tenure of the President Bola Tinubu administration, cost of living has continued to witness an astronomical increase.

DAILY POST reports that hardship, made worse by the removal of subsidy by President Tinubu, has further made life more difficult for most Nigerians.

According to the World Bank, the poverty rate in Nigeria increased to 46 percent in 2023, representing 104 million poor Nigerians.

Inflation rose to 27.33% in October 2023 and 28.20% in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, and this made a significant impact on household spending.

The NBS said the rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fruits, meat, vegetable, milk, cheese, and eggs.

A check on the prices of foodstuffs in Nigeria in January by DAILY POST shows that rice is sold from N45,000 to N60,000 for a 50kg bag.

Beans cost between N60,000 to N70,000 for a 50kg bag, while yam prices range from N800 to N3000 for a tuber.

Noodle prices vary depending on the brand and size, with some brands selling for as much as N7000 to N9000.

Garri, a popular staple made from cassava, widely consumed in Nigeria, is sold from N30,000 to N40,000 per 50kg bag depending on the brand and quality.

A 25kg bag of potatoes cost between N6,000 and N9,000. Spaghetti of 12 packs costs N13,000 depending on the brand.

A 5-liter bottle of vegetable oil ranges from N7,500 to N9,500, while a 5-liter bottle of palm oil costs between N6,500 to N7,500.

These astronomical rises in the prices of food commodities have become of serious concern to NIgerians.

However, the President and his team have been consistent in assuring the people of their capabilities to fix the country but many Nigerians still feel it is taking more time than expected for things to take a different shape.

“Tinubu’s administration should pity Nigerians and put up policies that would make life a little easy for the masses.

“The cost of petrol is affecting how the people survive. When there’s hunger, the people tend to steal or find other means of survival.

“The President should also consider a review of the minimum wage for civil servants,” Ekong Eduok told DAILY POST at Utako Market.

On his own, a bookshop owner at the same market, Chibuzo Nwoke, said, “For me, things will keep getting worse as long as insecurity remains.

“I think the President should focus on solving the problem of insecurity across the country. Farmers should be able to go to their farms without fear.

“So the issues of killings here and there should be curbed. Then we’ll start talking about getting foodstuff from the farm to the market.”

Also speaking, Mr Abdul Sani had this to say: “We are tired. The president should start working and the only way people will know that this government is working is when the market becomes friendly. Right now, I wonder how the poor people are eating.

“I don’t think there’s any hope. The dollar has continued to rise and the more it rises, the more the prices of food and other household items skyrocket.

“He talked about transferring money to the very poor in the society, but is it not the same money they’re stealing? There is corruption here and there. For me, I don’t think anything good will come out of this government unless God just decides to intervene.”

Meanwhile, speaking to DAILY POST on the subject matter, an economic expert and the Chief Executive Director of the Economic Associates, said the government must do everything within its power to stabilize the foreign exchange market.

Teriba insisted that there would be no economic growth and competitiveness when the exchange rate had remained volatile.

“There is a huge cost that still needs to be addressed, which is the increased volatility of the exchange rate, especially in the official market.

“It could be N1000 to a dollar today, then jumps back to N800 and again N850 to a dollar.

“That level of volatility is a deterrent to business decisions. They are likely to delay investment outlays. And the volatility of the dollar rate spills over.

“It passes through to domestic consumer prices. Such volatility in exchange rate aggravates the inflationary situation and perpetuates food and energy price shocks that erode consumer living standard and business compatibility.

“So it’s not surprising that some businesses that have been in operation in Nigeria for quite a long time are taking the decision to exit.

“The key question for the outlook in 2024 is- ‘how soon are we putting an end to that volatility?’ You won’t have growth in that kind of volatility.

“You won’t have inflation come down with that volatility. So, for you to start talking seriously about growth, you need to calm the foreign exchange market,” he stated.

However, he added that the direction of the 2024 budget is showing that the “government is making clearly adequate provisions for the mitigation of the adverse effects of some of its reforms on living cost.”

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