Since the president of the good people of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in on May 29, 2015, we are still waiting to enjoy the dividends of democracy. By and large, our lives are worse off. Majority of the over 170 million Nigerians are in more pains than they were. Only liars, boot lickers and those near the corridors of power and apologists disagree. Things can get better, no doubt. But right now, things are far worse than contemplated.
Here are the 14 ways the lives of the masses have been affected…
Income dwindling and devalued
If you earned N18,000 in 2015, at an average exchange rate of N180 to a dollar, your income is actually $100. Today, your N18,000 can only buy $52 ( at N345 to a dollar ).
Apart from this simple arithmetic, your $52 today cannot buy the same items it did last year. Prices have skyrocketed!
Effectively, your income has dwindled and practically devalued. This scenario is extended to all groups, no matter the income and status.
Stock market collapsing
The collapsing stock market is evident. Today (Friday, May 13), market capitalization stood at N9.098 trillion. In April 2015, capitalization rose to N11.990 trillion, after Buhari was declared the winner of the presidential elections. That is a difference of N2.9 trillion.
Investors are scared, the market is not doing too well because businesses are troubled. A lot of the quoted companies are facing difficulties because of the unfriendly operating environment.
The dollar at the black market fell to N190 in the euphoria of Buhari’s victory. Shortly after, it jumped over the N200 mark … and it has been rising ever since. Today, it is about N345, even as government mentioned a spurious N285 figure.
Factories quieter, businesses struggling
With foreign exchange difficult to come back, and raw materials unavailable, many factories are quieter, production scaled down, as some close down. Even enterprises are as troubled as cost of production rise. Many traders and supplies are hiding under scarcity of dollars to jerk up price, hammering entrepreneurs who are out of breath and panting. Artisans are moaning as machines cease their thud and whimper.
Land lords are also using scarcity of dollars and rising cost of living to increase rent, further reducing the available income of the Nigerians. With shelter on top of everyone’s scale, there is no escape. From rooms to self contained, shops to flats and duplexes, rent is up.
Food more expensive
Even those selling tomato and fish, pepper and groceries are blaming the dollar and hiking prices of their produce. People are skipping meals and reducing quality and quantity. There is more hunger in the land.
More people out of job
As factories and businesses struggle to produce, with some scaling down, others closing shop, unemployment is rife. Many more people are under employed or out of job. This sad scenario is evident.
Petrol scarcer and more expensive
For the better part of this administration we have been at filling stations, in kilometer Lon queues, sleeping there and paying far above the N86.50 per litre for petrol. Across the nation, we have not had this long palaver with petrol. Now, a litre has been fixed at not more than N145, but we are still buying it far more than that price and it is scarcer.
On account of the scarcity, smaller businesses are coughing and collapsing as they struggle to power their generators. People are late for work as they queue at stations or wait for buses. Homes have become unbearable as darkness, with power outages, has become our companions.
Power outages punishing
On one occasion at least, the whole of Nigeria was in darkness as megawatts slipped to zero! Total darkness!! And for the better part of the last one year, ordinary talk with no action has dominated the public space concerning electricity. Households have become inhabitable; sleep has been murdered as heat conspired with lack of electricity and fuel to punish Nigerians. Companies are becoming cemeteries.
Nigerians sadder, more aggressive, depressed and fall ill easily
Many more people than ever are sadder, forlorn and confused. They are at a loss on what steps to take, they are losing their humanity. Legions are more aggressive, easily angered and quick to quarrel at little slights. Some are transferring aggression, from their lack of financial stamina. Depression, serious depression in the league of mental issues, is commonplace. And it is easy to fall ill as immunity plummets as a result of lack of hope and confusion.
Insecurity and rise in opportunistic crime
There is a general feeling of insecurity as trouble spots multiply and hoodlums take advantage of financial difficulties. More dangerous crime of rituals and kidnapping are coming into our lexicon. Petty crimes are frquent. And terrorists, Boko Haram and Niger Delta Avengers have not been conquered. Now we have herdsmen who are raping, maiming and killing.
Future looks bleaker, especially for youths
The army of unemployed youths, graduates and the uneducated are frustrated. They have lost hope as millions join the labour market that is far more than saturated. New companies are not springing up as expected, jobs are hardly created. Those in school are jittery and worried about the future.
Many are taking dangerous routes and migrating as economic refugees. They believe anywhere is better than Nigeria. And those in Nigeria are flooding the cities, putting pressure on infrastructure and resources. They are abandoning agriculture, and some there may be serious scarcity of produce hitherto widely available.
We are less compassionate and willing to help others financially
Those you run to for help, big men and women, are also complaining. Spiritual places of solace and refuge have fewer donations and are helping less. It appears compassion is dying. The average family is abandoned, on their own…
Credit Nigerian Encomium