Some Nigerian workers have lamented that the average Nigerian’s standard of living under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is steadily declining every day as prices of food continue to skyrocket daily.
The current realities are forcing families into hunger, as an average Nigerian who could afford to feed three times in a day are now struggling to feed twice or less, because of the economic situation in the country.
On a monthly basis, prices of food items appear to be increasing in major cities in Nigeria. For example, the prices of flour products such as ‘bread’, grains such as ‘rice, beans, garri’, and regular beverages have experienced an unimaginable hike in price within the last one month if compared with previous months within the year.
The latest findings reveal that “the price of the regular ready to eat can fish ‘Sardine’ sold at N300 now goes for N600 at the market and sell at N700 in supermarkets across the country. A bag of beans sold at N30,000 early last month ‘September’ now costs between N50,000 and N100,000. Also, sachets of beverages (e.g, milk, milo) sold at N700 now sells at N1200, cooking gas 5kg sold at N2000 now sells at N3000”. Bread that used to sell for between N350 to N400 now sells for N700. Almost all the prices of consumables have doubled within the last 1 month.
Millions of working-class Nigerians can no longer live a decent life on their income not to talk of those earning lower than the minimum wage. The question that bothers most Nigerians is, “how does a Nigerian who earns a minimum wage of N30,000 survive with the current hike in the price of food? How do families feed?” Sadly, these questions remain unanswered.
The country’s national minimum wage is N30,000 per month, mainly applicable to civil servants as some private sectors pay as low as N15,000 to workers. Also, many state governments are yet to implement the new minimum wage.
According to a worker, simply identified as Gloria, who interacted with newsmen, said it’s been hard for her to feed as a spinster since the price change. She expressed their sadness over the situation, calling on the government to act immediately.
Recall that on October 1st, President Buhari during his Independence Day speech blamed the middlemen for the rise in food prices, stating that the middlemen have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering. He directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities.
The House of Representatives, days ago also set up a special committee to conduct an investigative hearing with all critical stakeholders in the country and carry out the root cause analysis on the rising cost of food items.
But if the government fails to find a lasting solution to insecurity issues such as bandits attack in communities, herdsmen attacks on farmers and villages, the prices of food will continue to rise, and the unemployment rate will increase.
The current realities have caused businesses to shut down over the cost of production. Experts believe the trend has an adverse effect on unemployment rate, which is already high.