Ten years ago, one could walk into the market and buy enough foodstuffs for a decent pot of soup, with one hundred naira (#100). Since then, prices of commodities have soared beyond the means of most people.
High cost of living is usually as a result of inflation. Inflation is the sudden rise in prices of goods resulting from too much cash in circulation. The 2000 salary increases have been blamed for this rise in prices. Civil servants were paid large sums of money in a short period of time and they went to the market buying sprees. Consequently, too much money was available for a few goods. The traders therefore hiked the prices.
Again, the increase in price of crude oil in the international market has put a lot of more money into the hands of the Federal Government which has subsequently pumped more money into the economy in its construction of roads and sundry contract awards. Yet there is little exportation of industrial goods. so, we import almost everything and export practically nothing. Following these, the value of the naira fell. The government put a restriction on various imported items and the prices of these goods tripled. Locally produced items became more expensive. The cost of living has since continued to rise.
The results of this rising cost of living are obvious. When the common man cannot buy what he wants, he may forego it. But there are things that he must have he might commit all kinds of crime to get money in order to satisfy his needs. Therefore, our girls have taken to prostitution, and armed robbery has been on the increase. If this trend continues, armed robbers may one day overrun this country. Where would we be then? if the situation does not improve soon, the hunger and starvation in Ethiopia will be visited upon Nigeria. Encouraging people to farm is not enough. It is impossible for all of us to turn into farmers overnight.
The government should immediately increase the amount of goods in the market through massive importation, even if this means borrowing. With enough goods here, business will thrive and money realized will later be used to pay debts. Government should also create price control centres and ensure that they work hard. Lastly citizens should control their urge to buy the goods they can do without. If the demand for certain goods drops, prices will go down.
No nation can survive if it cannot control its market forces. Nigeria’s leaders must quickly find a solution to the problem before we run out of time. If the solution suggested here and in other writ-ups on the issues is accepted, the prices of goods will fall. Now is the time to act.