N1000 In Nigeria and The Ever Decreasing Purchasing Power
Nigeria’s population currently stands at least 206 million people, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Of these, 83 million are in poverty. From surviving in shanties to living under the bridge, many Nigerians are languishing in lack. The unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2020 was recorded to be 27.1% while the underemployment rate stood at 26.3%. These are gory statistics to note.
As we battle these problems, there is the always declining and waning purchasing power of the citizens. In a nation where governors are reluctant and struggling to pay N30,000 minimum wage, the purchasing power of the naira is on a fast decline. The poverty line of the world is N377 per person and this means 83 million people are spending that or lower on a daily basis. The declining purchasing power also means this group of people will find it extremely difficult to buy anything, feed and survive. For all, it means the cost of survival is increasing despite the decreasing rate of income. What can N1000 buy? This question leaves Nigerians giving many answers that painted the stark reality of the commoner. In a Consumer Expectations Survey, the Buying Intention Index is at 36.5 points for a country that has a 40.2% population rate.
The inflation rate for August 2020 stood at 12.82%, which is the highest in 27 months in the country. While this may be linked to the current pandemic, its regular ascent before now is inexcusable. Nigeria’s inflation has risen consistently for 11 months now, as it went from 11.09% in the last one year to its current standing. Food index on its part has risen to 15.48%, according to the NBS’ statistics for the month of August.
The prices of food items are on a very high level and coupled to the hike in electricity and petroleum prices, Nigerians are withholding what’s probably the most difficult time yet in years. Normal and mostly consumed food items like cereals, bread, yam, potatoes and other tubers, meat, fish and other food items have had their prices increase exponentially. The very high purchasing power has also led to the increase in the cost of medical and pharmaceutical services with passengers on road transport complaining bitterly about the cost of travelling and moving foods.
Most of the civil servants, who form a sizable part of the population have not had an increment in their salaries, but have had to deal with a very low purchasing power as the cost of production rises and consequently, increased prices of commodities. The power of N1000 is at its lowest, and the government must be transparent with Nigerians as much as possible, and do everything within its capacity to ease the stress of the citizens. .