High cost of living:This is the most expensive Christmas ever, your policy is killing us, Nigerians cry to Tinubu

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By Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong

As the fourth Estate of the realm whose main objective is civic duty and patriotism in the building site of a better country for all Nigerians, the ongoing nationwide public outcry of the high cost of living in the whole country has been so loud that 9newsng.com has decided to storm streets nationwide to enquire to know how Nigerians are faring and to report the feedback and feelings of the people in the face of what the Federal Government thinks she is doing to reposition the nation economy.

This report which is put together
after a survey carried out at the eve of Christmas celebration by our reporters and editors across Nigeria will reel out few alarming reactions of some citizens who volunteered to respond to our enquiries on issues relating to their survival at the ongoing high cost of goods and services.

This report which is exclusively anchored for 9newsng.com by Nigeria Union of Journalists – NUJ Akwa Ibom State Council “Feature Writer Award Winner 2023” Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong, seeks to appeal to authorities to avoid armchair research, but roll back their sleeves and go to the field to carried verifiable, feasible surveys on the effect of government policies before implementing them.

Here we are publishing very few bleeding reactions and feedbacks out of several thousands gotten in the survey, which can serve as input from Nigerians to help the Federal Government of Nigeria and its appropriate agencies reset its economy policies.

Contrary to the opinion of some analysts who claimed that what is befalling Nigerians at this time is a curse from God and the fulfillment of prophecies of what will happen when the end of world draws near, but the outcome of our findings of the cause of Nigeria woes say what the country and its citizens are going through are man-made.

The present economy hardship befalling Nigerians is exclusively caused by anti people policies brought by governments at all tiers. To put in one word, it’s because we spent more than we gain. We borrow so so much, we even borrow to service debt. And recently the World Bank decries Nigeria’s worsening fiscal deficit, where 96.3 per cent of government revenue was spent servicing debt in 2022 and the bank says it will get to 123.4% very soon.
Even at that our Federal Government and States live flamboyant life style when they don’t have enough. We don’t produce over 70% of what we consume. Most products and services we consume are produced in foreign exchange and we buy them with a very weak Naira and that make those products and services to be sold at a very high cost.

Plus, when we find ourselves in this situation, the Federal Government of Nigeria in particular resorts to fire brigade policy approaches such as, unification of Naira, Palliatives, Cash Transfer, U-win, N-Power which are not sustainable policies to run a country economy.

Of which the simpless solution is to transform the whole nation landscape to a chain of production of all our agricultural produce, produce solid and liquidfied mineral into finished products. Let the FG grants financial enablement to multiple manufacturing entrepreneurs, finance research in highTec etc.

When a county is this empowered, it produces what she consumes, sends the excess to other countries who need them. And that point, you fix the price of how you want your products or services sold outside your shores.

Right now Nigerians are going to the market to buy products and services produced in Dollars or others foreign currencies. When we buy these products or services, we buy them at Dollars prices, because they are not made by us, even where some are made in Nigeria, over 80% contributory reagents (materials) used in the production of the item are bought in Dollars. And we expect them to be cheap? It can’t be possible.

The only solution is to create an enabling financial environment for local entrepreneurs to manufacture all we need here.

And because there’s too much functional industries in the country, there will be massive employments and not ephemeral empowerment policies like N-Power and U-win.

Past administrations and the present has not done that, they have rather push Nigeria economy into a trap of daily rising inflation which has already overstretched all its financial arteries and treasury to a flash point.

The Federal Government is spending more money than she is making. The unification of exchange rate of all segments of Forex is still not properly sited, hence it’s calling for proper reset. The decision to remove subsidy on petrol appeared to have been taken in an impulse posture. Although monies spent on subsidy would have financed other capital projects, but the President should have fixed all the refineries and get them optimally operational first, then stop financing the refining of petroleum products overseas later on.

Even when President Tinubu stopped patronizing subsidy on petrol, what is he doing with the money which would have been paid for subsidy?

Nothing else than to create new demanding nomenclatures that will squander the money.
For instance we are told that the wasteful fuel subsidy stopped by President Tinubu was billed to consume about N7 trillion this year which is five times more than what was provisioned for capital spending.

Now that the subsidy is no more paid, this monies are wasted into frivolities such as sponsoring a contingent of 1411 delegates to COP28 meeting to UAE, buying of posh SUV vehicles worth an estimated N57 million each to 360 House of Representatives members and 109 Senators, funding their daily flamboyant lives such as planning to buy a Presidential Yacht at N5 billion, buying of new bulletproof vehicles for the President and wife, building of a mansion for the Vice President etc… while those who voted them into these offices go hungry.

A respondent, Mrs Deborah Onocha said: “Tell Tinubu to rather open new cemeteries, at least three in every State instead of saying he running government. As I’m speaking to you, my mother is very ill and I’m her only child. I can’t afford drugs for her, she is dying every day. I have shutdown my Okrika business since July this year because I can’t afford the price of new clothes due to the rise the cost of Dollars. I don’t have patronage anymore because I don’t have new clothes for sale. Because of that I have to stop doing the business.
Feeding my 4 kids as a widow has become practically impossible since this government came in. I’m not the only one suffering this. Even the lady who introduced me to this business has stopped doing it for the same reason. We are really suffering. Please beg this man for us. Tell him to look into his policies again. It’s not in the favour of the masses at all. We are dying”.

Moses Inyang in Abuja said: ” I’m from Cross River State. I usually visit home at Christmas. And it’s compulsory for me as the secretary of my family. This year it’s not possible for me to go home, and that will spoil so many things for many people in my family. How can I travel home in this hard economy?
Look at the transport fare. Abuja -Calabar by air is over 400K for a return ticket. As it stands now, does it mean, Nigerians who are in other states won’t be going home again? Just to go to my state for Christmas, I have to budget over a million Naira if I should celebrate Christmas as usual. A bag of rice is 60k, live chicken is 10K, 12k or 14k.
1 kilo of Turkey is 6K
If I want to go by road I will spend nearly 30k for transport. To come back it will be same thing . The price of everything has increased to the point that we can’t explain.
Fuel is now N680/litre, sachet water is N400 a bag. And to worsen the situation, cash is not even in circulation. Nigerians are going to celebrate the most expensive Christmas ever”.

Adebayo Ogunyemi who runs a car wash in Lagos said: “I could not imagine that I will condescend to what I’m doing now just to survive with my family. I’m in car washing business for 9 years now, each day we were washing between 10 to 15 cars and in some days, more. But today, if you see three cars to wash in a day, you can give testimony in the church. And the three cars I’m talking about in most cases you don’t wash them here. You have them when you call and make multiple calls and even beg you clients and they will invite you to come and wash the vehicle in their houses. A client will tell you that he doesn’t have much fuel to drive to and fro to our car wash. And because of how the economy is, many wash their cars by themselves. That has badly affected my business and my family. Because of that I have withdrawn my three children at the middle of the school year from a private school to a public school where I can afford fees.

Umaru Ahmed who is a livestock sellers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State said Christmas and new year preparations are the period we usually make much sales. ” But this year is different. Usually, between 20th December to 31st, I use to sell between 10 to 15 cows and countless numbers of goats. Politicians who are looking for contracts, appointments, or those who go back to appreciate their benefactors will be buying cows as if there will be no tomorrow. But this December I have sold only two goats and no cow yet. Look at my stock of yam, they have started to get bad because they have over stayed in this shop. Everybody here is complaining. There’s no business anymore, no patronage. It’s not as if people don’t need cows again or people don’t eat goat meat again, it’s because we are not selling it as before, the price has drastically increased and it not our fault. When Buhari was president, things were difficult but not as worse as it’s now. You people were mocking Buhari, calling him Aboki. Saying he is an illiterate, he has not gone to any school. Now we have elected someone who is educated a former governor of Lagos State for that matter, can you see what he has done to Nigerians? Can you see how everybody is suffering? Why can’t he use his education to save Nigeria? If he doesn’t know what to do, can’t he ask people?”

Attahiru Saeed in Kano who is grocery trader said: “One thing that surprises me, is that in all these, the APC men who brought Tinubu to office are still telling us that we should be patient. That all we are going through now should happen for things to get better soon, that the President is fixing the country. Where is he fixing it, where exactly is Tinubu fixing this country? Fixing the country at the expense of the blood of Nigerians who are dying every day because of harsh economy? And sadly, those who are even telling you to be patient are not spared, the government is driving all of us with no compassion as cows they are taking to an abattoir. But one day, God will rescue Nigerians”.

Like Mrs Onocha said during our interface with Nigerians over the high cost of living, we, 9newsng.com corroborates the view that the President should review his governance policies having direct effects on the masses.
Also above, we have moreover proposed that the Federal Government should turn the whole country call Nigeria into an industrial layout to produce all she needs and consumes. It’s by that Nigeria will be able to circumvent foreign exchange to over 80%. Nigerian will buy what they produce with their currency (Naira), and the excess will be exported and sold at whatever price fixed my the Nigerian manufacturer. That inadvertently, will create excessive jobs and boost the economy.

Written by:
©️Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong, French & English languages Journalist, Researcher, Public Affairs Analyst, NUJ A’Ibom State 2023 Best Feature Writer Award Winner,
Here reporting @ 9newsng.com
Email: abasiekongabasiekong@gmail.com
+234 8062700985

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About Samuel Abasiekong 997 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Public Relations/Advertising Expert, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, Nigerian Red Cross Society Volunteer, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9NewsNG