The economic downturn situation in Nigeria is worsening as a great proportion of its citizens continue to struggle despite the country’s enormous resources, including a tremendous oil deposit which is the most booming. Price increases have been seen across the board, from food, transportation, unemployment, inflation to tuition at federal universities, since the incumbent president assumed office and the fuel subsidy was removed. The rising cost of living has pushed many people in Nigeria into extreme poverty. Affordable staples for average people like beans, garri, yam, and other commodities are now exorbitantly priced.
Plight faced by Nigerians becoming unbearable amidst the current economic crisis, leading many to resort to begging on the streets of the country. The primary contributors to this problem are the high rates of unemployment, poverty, and inflation. As per KPMG analysis, Nigeria is projected to experience a rise in the unemployment rate to 41% this year, compared to 37.7% in 2022. Additionally, the National Bureau of Statistics reported a surge in Nigerian inflation rate to 25.8% in August 2023, from 24.08 percent in July, marking the highest rate since September 2005.
Most people are struggling to put food on the table.
Transportation expenses in Nigeria have increased by 100 percent due to the recent hike in the price of petroleum. Currently, the price of petrol per liter varies from N568 and N640, depending on the state. Through the Ministry of Education, the federal government increased tuition at federal universities from around N21,500 to nearly N140,000, with additional fees for students pursuing degrees in medical related fields. While most people in the country are struggling to put food on the table due to low earnings, the administration has appointed a large number of advisers and assistants who will be paid exorbitant salaries and benefits, adding to the governments spending.
In addition, there is also the issue of high prevalent insecurity plaguing the country. The fact that terrorists and bandits are kidnapping Nigerians in the North West geopolitical zone and elsewhere in the country is evidence that government institutions charged with protecting the public are falling short of their duties. Nigerian armed forces are at a loss as to how to effectively counter the threat presented by extremists and cease the kidnapping of innocent citizens.
Governing classes are not adequately catering for the people.
Evidently, the mismanagement of Nigerian government is to blame for the country’s current poverty, hunger, and unemployment crisis, which in turn has led to the rise of terrorism and banditry. The high unemployment rate, high cost of living, 100 percent hikes in transit prices, over 500 percent increases in fees at federal colleges, and high rates of inflation in Nigeria would have provoked a civil crisis and instability in a chaotic structure. However that is not the case, and people are finding ways to adapt to their situations.
Ninety-five percent or more of Nigerians approximately two hundred million people fall into the category of “average people,” and the country’s governing class are not adequately catering for them in terms of welfarism and wellbeing. Fundamental reasons for the country’s challenges are institutional corruption at all levels of government, a lack of political will, the self-centeredness of our elected leaders, a corrupt judiciary, and a lack of the rule of law. It’s time to stop! Nigerians are suffering from tremendous poverty due to ineffective leadership at the federal, state, and local levels of government.
Political elite should be urging for national sacrifices.
When the current government assumed office, it promised a sense of optimism and renewal termed ‘Renewed Hope’. However, the reality we are facing today is quite the opposite, with a feeling of hopelessness and disappointment. We live in a nation where the political elite should be urging for national sacrifices and pleasing the masses to exhibit patience during these challenging times. But, instead of setting an example, they are enjoying lives of luxury. It is important that we put an end to this suffering.