Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Experts highlight how inflation is worsening living standards among Nigerians

Financial experts say the increasing inflation rate in Nigeria has impacted the living standard of Nigerians.

• July 3, 2022
People in Mararaba Market, Nasarawa State
People in Mararaba Market, Nasarawa State

Financial experts say the increasing inflation rate in Nigeria has impacted the living standard of Nigerians.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 17.71 per cent annually in May 2022.

The NBS also said that prices of selected food items had increased in the last 12 months in its latest Food Price Watch report in the same period.

Also, the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects Report said the damage from COVID-19 and conditions in Ukraine had intensified the slowdown in the global economy.

In an interview, Aminu Usman of the Kaduna State University said the rising inflation rate meant devaluation of individual income, which amounted to falling purchasing power.

Mr Usman, a lecturer at the Department of Economics, said individuals would now purchase fewer commodities with the same amount of money.

“This scenario implies that people’s living conditions are deteriorating, especially for low-income groups, whose income is rigidly fixed while prices are skyrocketing,” he said.

Ben Ekeyi, a public financial management consultant, said Nigeria’s inflation rate harmed the purchasing power of Nigerians in diverse ways.

Mr Ekeyi said one of the impacts included reduced ability to purchase needed and required goods and services, especially where there was no corresponding increase in income.

Paul Alaje, a senior economist with SPM Professionals, said the high inflation rate means that someone who had N100,000 this time in 2021 now has less than N85,000 this year for committing no crime.

Mr Alaje said this situation might put several families in jeopardy as some members may lose their jobs because of the failure of their employees to pay them due to a decline in sales.

A cross-section of Nigerians who spoke to reporters said the increasing inflation rate had reduced their standard of living and made saving impossible.

Isaac Ighure, a pensioner, said many families were “cutting corners ” in a good way to be able to eat.

Tosin Ajayi, a public servant and mother of three, said the situation had become unbearable.

“What I do as a mother is to tell my kids the reality on ground. I tell them that it is unacceptable to waste food and to be appreciative of what your parents give you,” she said.

Lynn Ikechukwu, a housewife and mother of three, said the inflation rate had made it difficult for her to plan and budget for her home.

“Every time you go to the market the price of food items keeps increasing, now it is almost impossible to buy tomatoes. You have to forgo some food items. Tell me how someone can plan in such a situation?”

For Chioma Ibeh, an online food vendor, the inflation rate has resulted in a decline in customers, which has slowed down her business.

“When I tell clients the amount for a particular size bowl of soup or stew, they complain and say it is too expensive. But at the end of the day, that is the reality of the situation in the country.”

Amaka Eze, a market woman, said, “It is so bad that some decent guys even come to my shop to beg for a cup of garri to drink because they have no money to buy food, to eat.”


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