NASRE: Economic Hardship And Charting A Path Forward
NASRE– In the labyrinth of Nigeria’s economic landscape, a pervasive wave of hardship has engulfed the nation, leaving its citizens navigating through soaring costs, diminished purchasing power, and profound lifestyle adjustments. The complex interplay of policy reforms, notably the removal of fuel subsidies and the unification of exchange rates, has ushered in a new era of financial struggle for many, creating a multi-faceted crisis that requires a comprehensive exploration.
For instance, Nigeria battles with a record high inflation rate of 28.92 per cent in December 2023 from 28.20 per cent in November, and a food inflation rate of 33.93 per cent, which is driven by increases in prices of staple food items such as Oil and fat, Meat, Bread and Cereals, Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers, Fish, and Milk, Cheese, and Eggs.
In fact, latest global hunger index report has ranked Nigeria 109 out of 125 countries as one of the countries with the most hungry population in the world. The report, therefore, showed that Nigeria is below countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, North Korea, and Guinea.
The Human Impact
At the heart of this economic maelstrom are the stories of ordinary Nigerians, whose daily life is marred by a worsening financial situation despite earnest attempts to cut costs. Their plight mirrors the struggles of countless others facing the collateral damage of policy decisions.
The removal of the fuel subsidy in June 2023 acted as a catalyst, triggering a domino effect on the prices of goods and services. Families like Shakirudeen Bankole’s, who once enjoyed the ritual of preparing soup every week, now find themselves reducing such practices to once a month due to inflation’s relentless grip on grocery prices.
Government Policy Reforms Amplifying Hardship
The government’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy and unify the exchange rate, while well-intentioned, has created a perfect storm for citizens just recovering from the repercussions of a controversial naira redesign policy. The subsequent surge in prices has affected various sectors, from food and transportation to education and small businesses.
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s move to unify the forex exchange market aimed at transparency and investor confidence has inadvertently intensified pressure on the local currency. Manufacturers grapple with increased costs, and citizens face the harsh reality of adapting to a new economic normal.
Lives In Flux: Stories From The Ground
As voices from different regions echo similar hardships, lifestyle changes become inevitable. Nigerians all over the country narrate how the economic challenges have compelled their family to reduce their three square meals to two, emphasizing the pervasive impact on daily life.
Poultry farmer Namso Udoka highlights the struggle as the price of essential inputs like hybrid feed skyrockets, affecting both production costs and, potentially, the prices of eggs. Civil servants like Monday Ewaoche recount drastic adjustments – from cutting down on unnecessary expenses to choosing public transport over personal vehicles.
The Trickle-Down Effect
From the bustling markets of Kano to the mechanic parts workshops in Ladipo, the fabric shops in Abeokuta, the cry all over has been the negative impact of the economy on the market. The markets that have once bustling with activity are now eerily quiet due to reduced patronage.
Entrepreneurs have also expressed the ripple effect on their businesses. Increased fuel prices translate to higher production costs, forcing them to raise prices and, subsequently, face a decline in patronage.
As Nigerians continue to face the present unprecedented hardship, calls for a reevaluation of government policies and a plea for relief from economic hardships echo nationwide. The National Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), therefore, emphasize the need for specific blueprints to address inflationary pressures and revitalize the economy.
To this end, we urge all arms of government to provide economic relief, emphasizing the commitment to delivering on promises despite the challenges. We also advocate for citizens’ involvement in security efforts and encourage unity to navigate these trying times.
In the face of adversity, Nigerians are resilient, adapting to the changing economic landscape while holding onto hope for a better tomorrow. The complexities of this economic crisis demand a comprehensive response, blending short-term relief measures with long-term structural reforms.
Immediate Relief Measures: Urgent steps must be taken to provide immediate relief to vulnerable populations. This includes targeted subsidies, social welfare programs, and food assistance to mitigate the impact of rising prices on essential goods.
Inclusive Policy Reevaluation: Government policies, especially those related to subsidy removal and exchange rate unification, require thorough reassessment. The inclusion of stakeholders from various sectors in policy discussions can help identify unintended consequences and inform more inclusive decision-making.
Economic Diversification: A strategic shift towards economic diversification is imperative. Investing in sectors where Nigeria has a comparative advantage, such as agriculture, can stimulate growth, create employment, and reduce dependence on oil revenue.
Infrastructure Development: Critical investments in infrastructure, particularly in transportation and power generation, can alleviate the burden on businesses and reduce production costs. Improved infrastructure enhances efficiency and competitiveness in the global market.
Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. Providing targeted support, including access to affordable credit, skill development programs, and streamlined regulatory processes, can boost their resilience and contribution to economic recovery.
Transparent Communication: Building trust through transparent communication is crucial. Clearly articulating government policies, their objectives, and the expected impact fosters a sense of understanding among citizens, reducing uncertainty and speculation.
Conclusion: A Collective Journey
As Nigeria grapples with these multifaceted challenges, the path forward necessitates a collective effort, innovative solutions, and a commitment to addressing the root causes of the current hardships. Only through unity, collaboration between government and citizens, and strategic reforms can Nigeria emerge from these turbulent waters into a more prosperous and equitable future.
For further inquiries or comments, please contact NASRE secretariat:
Phone: +234  907 545 7236
Ogun To Begin Sales Of 100 Trucks Load Of Rice At Cheaper Rate-Abiodun …the poor, elderly, vulnerable to get free allocation
Ogun To Begin Sales Of 100 Trucks Load Of Rice At Cheaper Rate-Abiodun
…the poor, elderly, vulnerable to get free allocation
Ogun State has purchased 100 trucks load of rice to be sold at cheaper rates to residents of the state to cushion the effect of the rise in the prices of goods in the country.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun stated this on Wednesday while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Prince Abiodun disclosed that the rice would be subsidized and made available at the rate it was before the recent astronomical rise in the prices of the commodities.
He, however, said the poor, the elderly, and the vulnerable would enjoy free allocation.
“We have decided to give our people foodstuffs like rice, garri, beans. I have ordered almost 100 trailers of rice, they will start offloading them tomorrow (today).
“We have decided that the poor, the elderly, and the vulnerable will be given the rice free of charge, while others will have to buy the rice at the price we formally bought it before the dollar rose very high so that it won’t be a one-off and we can continue till the issue of the dollar is settled,” he said.
Governor Abiodun assured the people of Ogun State that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fully in charge and knows what he is doing.
According to him, the President is on top of the situation, adding that Nigerians will soon start seeing the manifestation of the several policies put in place to curtail the rising inflation
He added that the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, at a meeting he had with him, has assured that the dollar would soon fall.
“Everything we are experiencing at the moment is very transient, it will soon pass away. Let me assure you, the meeting we had yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) after I left that meeting this evening, I am convinced that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fully in charge. He knows what he is doing.
“With the plan that he has begun to implement, you will soon begin to see the change. We must remain very hopeful.
“The last meeting I had was with the CBN Governor. He said I should quote him and tell you that, very soon, the dollar will crash,” he said.
Abiodun noted that his administration in realization of the present hardship facing the country took some steps to cushion the effect, even as he recalled that an intervention worth more than N5 billion was announced by his administration last week.
Tertiary students of Ogun State origin across the country will receive N50,000 each, the governor said.
The secondary and primary school category with about 800,000 students, Prince Abiodun noted, will be done in phases, with the first phase, comprising 100,000 students getting N10,000 each.
Those not captured now would get five exercise books while waiting for the next phase.
The governor said women and the elderly would benefit from free medical care with insurance cards worth N18,000.
Abiodun further noted that his administration would set aside about N500 million monthly to offset the payment of deductions for civil servants in the state public service.
Governor Abiodun urged Nigerians, especially the youths not to allow themselves to be used by unscrupulous elements to disrupt the peace of the country.
“It is now so bad that they have planned to use our youths, give them money to disrupt the peace of the country by staging protests.
“What we going through isn’t what other countries around the world haven’t also experienced. But they were very patriotic, calm because they know the solution is on the way,” he said.
WE HAVE NO ALLEGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST EX- COMMISSIONER, OTHERS, OGUN ASSEMBLY CLARIFIES INVITATION
WE HAVE NO ALLEGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST EX- COMMISSIONER, OTHERS, OGUN ASSEMBLY CLARIFIES INVITATION
Sahara Weekly Reports That Ogun State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption, led by Hon. Damilare Bello today continues with its sittings with a clarification that the invitation extended to the former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdul-Waheed Odusile and the SSA to the Governor on Media, Emmanuel Ojo was not an indictment but rather to seek clarifications on the audit report of the Ministry.
Hon. Bello issued the clarification today during the Committee’s meeting with the officials of the State Hospitals Management Board at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The Committee Chairman in company of other members including Honourables Musefiu Lamidi, Dickson Awolaja, Wahab Haruna, Yusuf Amosun, Folawewo Salami, Lawal Samsideen and Waliu Owode noted that the sitting was not meant to witch- hunt but to put the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government on their toes in the prudent management of government resources.
He recalled that at the last sitting of the Committee, there was a misinformation in some sections of the media insinuating fraudulent practices, cautioning that the Committee had not indicted anyone but merely considering issues raised in the audit reports with a view to addressing them.
He stated, “on Monday at our last sitting, there was a misinformation that this Honourable House has indicted the ex- Commissioner and the SSA (Media), we have not indicted anyone. We have only used the media to invite them for clarification on the Auditor General reports in line with our constitutional responsibilities.
It is important to note that the this House has no reason to witch-hunt anyone. We are only making sure the people see our Governor working alongside with the legislators with the right procedure to achieve all the Government lofty policies and programmes”, he stated.
He urged the public to disregard the scandal rumour, saying not everything found on the media space might be the right picture of things coming from the Assembly.
He called on Heads of MDAs to work together with the Assembly in blocking all leakages and help promote accountability and transparency in the running of government in the State.
TINUBU APPOINTS DCG KEMI NANNA NANDAP AS COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE
PRESIDENT TINUBU APPOINTS DCG KEMI NANNA NANDAP AS COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of DCG Kemi Nanna Nandap to serve as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), effective from March 1, 2024.
DCG Nandap takes over from Mrs. Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, whose term in office expires on February 29, 2024.
Before her appointment as Comptroller-General, Nandap was the Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of the Migration Directorate of the Service.
The President anticipates that the new Comptroller-General will deepen the ongoing reforms in the service and create a robust mechanism for efficient and dedicated service delivery to Nigerians, as well as strengthen the nation’s security through proactive and effective border security and migration management.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 21, 2024
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