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'Garri is no longer a snack but a main meal,' hungry Nigerians lament about economy

Nigerians has resorted to rationing their meagre resources amidst other coping mechanisms.

'Garri is no longer a snack but a main meal,' hungry Nigerians lament about economy [Business Elites Africa]

A cross-section of respondents, who spoke with NAN in Ibadan on Friday, said they had resorted to rationing their meagre resources amidst other coping mechanisms. A public servant, Funmi Alli, said she had taken time to lecture her children on managing available resources and avoiding wastage.

“I have told them we can no longer buy anything unnecessary so that we can reduce cost and save more; this is in addition to reducing our consumption pattern.

“I have also learnt to reduce the consumption of fuel by parking my car somewhere and going about the day’s work, using public transport,” she said.

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Alli said she had come to add more sources of income to ensure she survived the biting economy. An accountant, Sola Alawode, said her family had adjusted to the situation by making main meals out of what used to be mere snacks.

“I told my children that garri is no longer a snack but a main meal. If you’ve taken it, it means you have taken the meal for that time,” Alawode stated.

An entrepreneur, Oluwasegun Abudioke, said: “The best and very realistic way to answer you is just to say that ‘God’s grace has been sufficient".

“As I speak to you, I’m lying down on an empty stomach with so much hunger. My closest expectations are still two weeks from now but how I will survive before then is a hard nut to crack.”

A food vendor, Olubisi Adegoke, expressed regret that she no longer made profits from her business due to incessant increases in the prices of goods.

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“I had to borrow money from someone to add to what I made yesterday to re-stock for today.

“Each day I keep running at a loss, as I no longer realise the cost price of the inputs I use in preparing food to sell, let alone making profits,” Adegoke stated.

Sanmi Olatunde, a worker in an organisation he wouldn’t want to disclose, said he and his family had reduced consumption after reviewing their budget.

“What we normally buy in large quantity has been reduced to small quantity for this period,” he added.

Another entrepreneur, Motunrayo Aroloye, said: “As we all know, the economic situation of Nigeria has become alarming and a thing of concern. To cope with this economy, some adjustments have to be made.

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“Stringent times call for stringent actions. We have cut down on our food purchases and we buy only the necessary things.

“We spend only on things we need and not on things we want for now.”

A civil servant, Oluwatoyin Diyan, who spoke on the phone from Bayelsa, said: “Transport fare is terrible here. So basically, I prioritise my needs and those of my family.

“Once I receive my income, I focus more on making sure the income takes care of feeding and my transport fare to and fro work.

“Then, any extra is channelled into saving and investments, such as crypto trading and foreign exchange.”

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A Christian cleric, Supo Odeleye, said people now managed the economy by trusting in God and cutting down on costs, buying only the needed items. A respondent with a private organisation in Port Harcourt, Aniekan Ben-Assam, said he relied on God, as ‘the just shall live by faith’.

A trader, Labake Adepoju, said she had never experienced such an economic turbulence in her 56 years of existence. According to her, the 12 hours she gives to working every day end up with little or nothing to show for it.

“Despite my hard work, I can barely feed my family for the past eight months. I can’t afford basic household and daily needs, such as preferred toiletries.

“Worst still, I find it difficult to buy my teenage girls their sanitary pads,” she lamented.

A businessman, Adekunle Ajakaye, said he could not explain how the constant increment in prices of goods and services had not run him out of business.

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“I am a regular visitor to Cotonou in Benin Republic and what I encounter anytime I return to Nigeria saddens my heart.

“I satisfactorily eat a piece of roasted turkey, which I buy at a cost equivalent to ₦200 but the same cannot even buy a common piece of fried fish in Nigeria.

“We buy goods with ease in Cotonou but we cannot sell them peacefully here in Nigeria,” Ajakaye said.

Olusola Ojeleye, a food vendor sent packing in January by the economic situation, said she had been trying to get her four children a meal of ₦600 for close to a day without success.

I used to have my business as a food vendor but it collapsed because I could no longer afford the cost of buying rice, beans, fish, meat and soup ingredients.

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“My husband works as a security personnel with a private company where he earns ₦30,000 and he hasn’t been paid for about two months now,” Ojeleye stated.

Similarly, Anifat Isiaka, a bean cake seller, said she had run out of business as a result of constant increments in the prices of the major ingredients she used.

“Today, I am jobless because I can’t afford ₦10,000 which I can manage to continue my business,” she said.

Furthermore, Shefiu Adigun, a beef trader, pointed out that the high cost of buying cows has negatively contributed to why Nigerians could not afford beef.

“For instance, I’ve stopped selling because people are not buying and I’ve gone bankrupt in the process,” he added.

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The respondents called on the Federal Government to do something urgently to address the situation before it got out of hand.

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