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Nigerians lament rising cost of living as food prices soar

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Nigerians lament rising cost of living as the country’s inflation hits a 4-year high by more than 18 percent in March. Food prices are up by almost 23 percent. The price of a crate of eggs has almost doubled since January to 1,500 naira ($4).

At the popular food markets in Ile-Epo and Agege on Lagos mainland, traders and customers are unhappy about the soaring prices. “You come to the market, just like the way you saw me pricing things, you no longer get them the same way we used to buy again. Even them themselves they keep complaining, they buy it very costly”, said Hope Moses, a private sector worker.

As well as inflation, a rise in joblessness has left a third of Nigeria’s workforce unemployed at the end of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The World Poverty Clock reports that at the latest count, Nigeria had 43 percent of its population or about 90 million people living below the poverty line of less than $1.90 per day.

“For we workers to be able to save, it’s affecting the savings because the income is not really increasing but the prices of items are increased. So it makes it so difficult for us to cope with the economy”, said private sector worker, Foluke Taiwo.

Africa’s largest economy was already struggling with a fall in the price of oil. The country’s major export, and a weak local naira currency, before the global pandemic hit. Business leaders and financial analysts say curbing inflation is key to rebooting the economy.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said problems that need tackling include high transportation costs, rising cost of energy and logistics. Another challenge is the naira exchange rate depreciation, foreign exchange liquidity shortages, the impact of the climate change and worsening insecurity on farming communities.

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