the other day recently i went to buy a bag of pure satchet water at a neighbourhood pop-and-mom type of shop down the road.

the lady looked at me.
a look of stress .. distress? .. un-happiness ? .. appeared on her face.
then she said :

“ the price of pure water has gone up.
it went up this morning.


a bag of pure water is now NAIRA 170:00.
it sold at NAIRA 150:00 yesterday evening.
it has gone up by N20:00

before i used to sell 2 satchets for N15:00 as a marketing strategy to attract customers.
now i sell 2 satchets for N20:00 ”

i asked the lady : what happened ?
are the pure water manufacturers on strike? or something ?

the lady replied :
“ no. the prices of everything in Nigeria has gone up.
they can not remain in business at the old price that they used to sell to us.

so they increased the price at which they sell to us.
and we too have increased the price at which we sell to our own customers and buyers.


this Nigeria.
everyday … problem.
everyday … one problem or the other.
if it is not this problem, it is that problem.
i don’t know when all these problems are going to stop in Nigeria.

the people are suffering.
and the people in power are not doing anything to solve the problem. ”

later that same day, i went to buy kerosene.
a beer bottle size quantity of kerosene used to go for N200:00.
about 2 / 3 weeks ago it had gone up to N250:00 a bottle.
this meant that if you used to buy
6 bottles at 6 bottles X Naira 200 = Naira 1,200:00
you were now buying at
6 bottles at 6 bottles X Naira 250 = Naira 1,500:00

that day the lady told me that the price had gone up again.
and she now sells a beer bottle size quantity of kerosene used to go for N270:00.

do the mathematics / arithmetic.
in 30 days, the price of the commodity had gone up twice.

first by Naira 50:00.
and then later by an additional Naira 20:00

a trip by bus
( … i.e a trip via the yellow coloured mini-buses in Lagos State, Yoruba-land, Nigeria … )

from Sabo bus-stop in Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria
to Ikeja bus-stop in Ikeja, Lagos Sate, Nigeria
used to be Naira 200:00.
it is now Naira 300:00
.

if you do the mathematics / arithmetic there,
you will see that Naira 100:00 is half i.e 50% of Naira 200:00.
so that new price of Naira 300:00 is a 50% increase on the old base price of Naira 200:00

is there any wonder ? then that
the ordinary, everyday folks on the street,
living in a country ( i.e Nigeria ) that does not proffer any easily identifiable welfare programmes
for the people
and buffeted by
economic hardships and related sufferings
rumoured never to have been seen before in Nigeria before 1989
groan in pain
and call upon GOD daily and publicly to send leaders that
will lead Nigeria aright.
 

and talking about 50% increases in the prices / costs of goods and services
and about other %age ( percentage increases ) in the prices / costs of goods and services in Nigeria

a trip by okada i.e commercial motor cycle
from Oyadiran Estate Gate to near-by Makoko
is now Naira 100:00 flat.
no negotiation.
no begging.
no argument.
take it or leave it.
if you don’t like it, you can walk/trek the distance.
that trip used to be Naira 50:00

if you do the mathematics / arithmetic there,
you will see that that’s a 100% price increase there.
in a similar vein,
a trip by okada i.e commercial motor cycle
from Oyadiran Estate Gate to near-by Sabo bus-stop
is now Naira 100:00 flat.
again, no negotiation.
again, no begging.
again, no argument.
and again, it is take it or leave it affair.
if you don’t like it, you can walk/trek the distance.
that trip used to be Naira 50:00

if you do the mathematics / arithmetic there,
you will see that here again that’s a 100% price increase there.

you know, educated folks and learned persons talk a lot of grammar about inflation
inflationary pressures
inflationary trends
and all.

one thing runs throw all these big, big grammar[s].
it is the same thing that runs through the rumours about price increases in Nigeria.

and that thing is this :

sometime in 1989, Nigeria stupidly??? de-valued it’s currency
and also began a process of continuing and continous devaluation of the Naira.
first from Naira 1 = U.S.A Dollar 1
to Naira 1 = U.S.A Dollar 1
[ … during the Nigeria Military President Nigeria Army General Ibrahim Babangida regime … ]

( .. remember ?
first tier foreign exchange market
second tier foreign exchange market
etc, etc, etc ? .. )  

to the present horrendous situation where
for several years now
the Naira has hovered at figures between
Naira 300 to Naira 400 or more?  = U.S.A Dollar 1

and for as long as Nigeria remains an interactive player in
the world economy i.e global economy
that for example
imports stuff from other countries e.g the U.S.A, the U.K, etc
to sell in Nigeria

for so long will any and all devaluation of the Naira
lead to an increase in the prices of goods and services in Nigeria
and an erosion in the purchasing power of the Naira.

the stunning question is this :
how come
seeing all the socio-economic pains Nigeria residents have suffered since the devaluation approach was adopted since 1989,
Nigeria has not reverted to it’s previous exchange rate of
Naira 1 = U.S.A Dollar 1 ?

i mean, Ghana, here in Western Africa, has done it.
and all .. when i say all, i mean all .. the millions of Ghana citizens who had been doing menial jobs here in Nigeria in order to survive i.e eke out an existence .. no matter how harrowing .. have all returned to Ghana.

and in many fora / forums of
social analysis, economic analysis, socio-economic analysis,
Ghana is now rated far higher than Nigeria economically

and the Ghana currency ( the cedi ) is now far, far, far stronger than the Nigeria currrency ( the Naira ).

does this mean that ?
the leaders and key economic players in Ghana i.e of Ghana
are far more intelligent
and far more sensible
and far more reasonable
and far more concerned in the overall welfare of their citizenry
than
the leaders and key economic players in Nigeria i.e of Nigeria ???

you know,
no matter how much you dwell in mendacity, false-hood and self-deception, the fact remains that
when you deceive yourself i.e when you are deceiving yourself
it is you your own self that you are deceiving
and not on-lookers and others
because
the people looking at you can see the truth

i guess what i am saying
as an answer to that question that

the leaders and key economic players in Ghana i.e of Ghana
are far more intelligent
and far more sensible
and far more reasonable
and far more concerned in the overall welfare of their citizenry
than
the leaders and key economic players in Nigeria i.e of Nigeria ???

is that
on this one,

your guess is as good as mine.
really.

By sam

Samuel Ojekwe is essentially just your basic everyday fellow that you see in your neighbourhood while you go about doing your stuff and who, like you, wishes and hopes that the world becomes a better place for all of us.

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