Only recently, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun appeared before senate to deliver a tearful verdict on state of economy, she confirmed that Nigeria is in “technical recession” and that hard times are ahead. On 11th of August the president officially announced that “Nigeria is now a poor state”. The giant of Africa and Africa’s biggest economy now struggles to keep its currency value from total depreciation and the economy from collapsing. Certainly, the long records of ineffective, corrupt leadership result in this period of economic shrink that adversely affect the citizen’s well being.
According to NOI Polls of July 25, 2016, Nigerians are in austere to the length that they cut down expenses, adjust feeding patterns and resort to prayers. The poll reflects a dreadful economic situation that overburdens Nigerians and their businesses. For instance, the inflation rate for the first time in 6years hit an all-time high of 15.6% in May, causing the prices of food, housing, electricity, services, transportation and equipment to shoot up.
What Coping Strategies have Nigerians devised?
As economic situation worsens, over 97% of Nigerians have adopted coping strategies to meet the current economic realities. About 67% of the population either agreed to have adjusted their feeding patterns, cut expenses on luxury items, or adopted subsistence agriculture to serve family needs. Others have simply created alternative income to complement their meager pay or perhaps, seek the face of God in prayer. The remaining 3 to 4% of Nigerians are either clueless of solution or enduring the situation, NOI observed.
In extreme cases, what is perceived as survival strategies is adopted by some. They embark on trekking to save cost of transport, begging, stealing foodstuffs, buy fairly used clothes, or depositing their children as collateral, NOI submitted.
Right now, Nigerians are clamoring for federal intervention to palliate their sufferings. President Muhammadu Buhari was elected amid high expectations and enchantment. However, the current realities have created an atmosphere of resentment that culminated in skirmishes and protests within the country.
Nevertheless, many still believe things can get better and that Nigeria can reclaim the number one economy in Africa, only if the government is unconditionally sincere, brings back the price controlling system and resolves the Niger Delta conflict. Others call for appointment of competent public servants and diversification of the economy.