According to the National Bureau of Statistics, as of November 24, 2023, the prices of petroleum products stand as follows: ₦630.63 for Premium Motor Spirit, ₦1004.94 for automotive gasoline oil, ₦1303.16 for national household kerosene, and ₦4562 for Liquefied Petroleum Gas in a 5kg quantity. The impact of inflation has become clearly apparent as individuals who were once able to support their families are now facing immense difficulties in doing so. The skyrocketing effects of inflation have caused an astronomical increase in prices for essential commodities such as sachet water, electrical appliances, fabric, building materials, and food items.
Before the economic crisis loomed, citizens were cautioned to prepare for adversity and adopt a frugal mindset. However, business carries on unaffected in the majority of states across the federation, showcasing an unyielding inclination towards extravagant expenditures on frivolous pursuits. Although the citizens have been struggling through immense difficulties, the government has overlooked any measures to decrease the expenses related to governing. Instead, an astonishing ₦5 billion has been set aside for the purchase of a presidential yacht, while over ₦19 billion has been allocated for state house vehicles. Additionally, funds have also been allotted for the renovation of the lodges where the President and Vice President reside, all occurring during a time of indescribable suffering.
It is imperative for leaders to enhance living conditions.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s actions have deepened public distrust as he eliminates fuel subsidies, allows the naira to float, and maintains an extravagant lifestyle despite the widespread suffering experienced by most Nigerians. The participation of state governors in this extravagant expenditure is undeniable as they utilize taxpayer money on insignificant ventures lacking any economic worth. This disregard for the people’s hardships stands in contrast to the immense potential of these funds if they were invested in projects that could truly benefit the state residents and bring about meaningful development.
In respect to the government’s account, there has been a decline in revenue, yet they have not made substantial efforts to cut down on the expenses related to running the government. This can be seen from the fact that they have not made any changes to the high salaries, which suggests a preference for extravagant vehicles instead of investing in Nigeria-made vehicles to strengthen the value of the Naira. At present, Nigeria esteemed higher education institutions suffer from a scarcity of faculty members as they all seek better opportunities abroad, and this pattern is echoed among medical doctors. To regain faith in Nigerian governing bodies, it is imperative for leaders to cultivate a favourable atmosphere and enhance living conditions.
Medical tourism should be stopped to bolster the naira.
Every year, the practice of medical tourism drains a staggering amount of ₦8.3 billion from Nigerian economy. Nigerian politicians and leaders resort to seeking medical treatment overseas, relying on foreign resources and exacerbating the already struggling health sector in the country. The decline of human capital has also led to ineffectiveness in various social intervention initiatives like TraderMoni, Npower, Conditional Cash Transfer Initiative, School Feeding Programme, and the National Social Investment Program (NSIP). These programs fail to achieve their intended goals mainly because of rampant corruption. The funds allocated for these initiatives end up being engulfed by corruption.
Annually, an enormous amount of Naira is extravagantly expended by leaders, politicians, and the wealthy elite to send their offspring overseas for educational purposes. Instead, the funds could be diverted towards revamping Nigerian institutions and enhancing compensation schemes. To counter the depreciation of our currency, the value of the Naira can be bolstered by diminishing the level of imports, discouraging politicians from frequently traveling abroad, urging citizens to refrain from medical tourism, and encouraging them to seek education for their children within the nation’s borders.
Reallocating resources from unproductive ventures to crucial endeavours.
The federal government must demonstrate unity by reducing the expenses of governance for the advancement of everyday Nigerians. It is necessary that the government places the well-being of its populace as a foremost priority, forsaking any extravagant expenses and nurturing public trust through open and responsible guidance. By reallocating resources from unproductive ventures towards crucial developmental endeavours, there lies the potential to elevate the nation and revive optimism for a more prosperous tomorrow. Nigeria can only surmount its present challenges and set the path for lasting progress if it adopts wise and empathetic leadership.