The Christmas season is meant to be a time for celebration, gift-giving, travel, and visiting loved ones and beautiful locations.
However, Nigerians may find it exceedingly challenging to participate in any of these activities this holiday season due to their regrettable inability to pay the steadily rising costs of goods and services, which may make their celebration a miserable one.
There is a connection between the growing cost of goods and services and the high exchange rate brought on by the weak economy. Additionally, the recent flooding had destroyed a great deal of farmland and agricultural products across the nation, making it nearly impossible for many to harvest their harvests.
Numerous highways were also damaged by the flood, which made it difficult to deliver food and fruit. Eventually, the majority of these items deteriorate. They therefore raise the price of their food items to make up for what they have lost as a result of the flood.
The recent increase in fuel prices and the ongoing fuel shortage have also caused an increase in intrastate and interstate transportation costs, which has further added to the high cost of food prices.
The cost of a bag of rice, frozen foods, palm and vegetable oils, clothing, and many other items increased by between 100 and 200 percent, according to the research. The cheapest local rice in Lagos’ open market is N40,000 for a 50kg bag, while the cost of foreign rice was N50,000. Additionally, a huge chicken, which is typically eaten with poultry, is now N12,000 in price.
Businessman Hakim Korede bemoaned the rising costs of products and services, saying,
“That is the criminal traits that is common now in Nigeria, Petro & Gas pump adjusted, frozen food scale, Paint of foodstuffs, Clothes measurements is now 34cm instead of 36cm, SKU, Quality Assurance (FCMG) adjusted for profits, price still high. Is the govt doing us?”
Monday According to John, a livestock farmer, the price of chicken varies based on its size, from N7500 to N13,000. He claimed that, according to the size, the price of the chicken last year ranged between N6,500 and N8000. The primary issue, according to him, is feed because the cost of the good has increased.
At Katangowa Market, a vendor said:
“Look around; people are just buying ponmo, fish and biscuit bones, which of course many couldn’t even afford, instead of live chicken. Many couldn’t even buy ‘second hand’ clothes. That’s the reality of today’s Nigeria. We are suffering and the government needs to act now or… Only those, who steal our money, could afford lavish Christmas celebrations this year.”
One of the Maitama Market women said,
“How much is coming to the salary earners? With what many are collecting now, can they buy anything with it at this Christmas? You see, this Christmas is very harsh. No matter how much you take to the market, you still cannot buy anything because of high prices. And despite the high rate of inflation in the economy, workers’ salaries are still the same.
“1 dollars is N1,000 now. Insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, killing is a daily affair. Price of food is 8x what it was in 2015. Fuel price is N300. Corruption is now the worse in history of Nigeria. Power supply/electricity is almost nonexistent,”
Cheryl King said.
Mrs Adesanya who sells bags of rice in Wuse said
“This is the worst Christmas I have ever seen in my life, because things are very expensive right now. Over the years, I have never sold rice as high as this year.
“Last year I sold a 50kg bag of local parboiled rice for an average of N20,000 while I sold foreign rice for N25,000. But this year 50kg bag of local parboiled rice sells for an average of N40,000 while foreign rice sells for N48,000.”
Mrs. Momodu, a Pstor’s wife said,
“Every Christmas, we usually buy bags of rice, vegetable oil and many other things to share with family, church members and friends. That is actually not possible this year because of the prices that are way too high.
“Incomes did not grow, inflation was high and as such; what we could afford last year or two years ago are not affordable this year.”
Raphat Gbadamosi, a food dealer said,
“The one that baffles me most is those who usually buy like two bags, one bag of rice, this year a lot of them go as low as 10kg. They cannot even afford to buy 25kg, which is half a bag. There is no rush at all this year, people are just taking it in piecemeal, and some are usually buying cartons of vegetable oil. They resulted in buying six.
“Unlike before, things are really tight, last year we sold a bag of rice for N25,000 to N27,000 but this year a bag of rice has gone up to around N45,000 and N46,000. But as of now, we are selling N40, 000 depending on what we buy.
“I sell only Nigerian rice; I don’t sell foreign rice even the vegetable oil, which is Golden Terra. It is produced in Sagamu here. I have been a promoter of made-in-Nigeria products because that is the only way we can grow our economy. But this year’s experience has been different, there is no money, people are groaning, some will even tell you school fees are around the corner.”
Nigerians are already concerned about how much worse things would be in 2023, unless there is a complete turnaround in the country’s policies and economic situation. One can only hope that the new administration would take the bull by the horns and address all the problems plaguing the country in order to put an end to the suffering of the people, especially with the election scheduled for February 2023 that will usher in a new government.
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