Everything Don Cost, God Abeg!
Sometime in 2010, my elder brother bought a Tiger generator for 10,000 Naira. As we talked about it later that night, he mentioned that he got it at a more expensive price; his friend had gotten it a year before for
N9,500. The change in numbers made it obvious that things had gotten expensive, still, the difference in price was not significant. But these days, there seems to be a force driving up inflation. Between the year my brother and his friend got a generator, the price difference was just N500 higher. It’s been over ten years and if we calculate it based on the N500 difference, a Tiger generator should not be more than N20,000 at most. But, people of God, when I came across a tweet by Yemihazan, I realised that the price of Tiger generator now is enough for me to buy my first childhood car.
Once upon a time, this was between 15-18k pic.twitter.com/5IgUCAFojm
— YH (@Yemihazan) January 21, 2023
I started living alone some months back and it’s one of the things I am grateful for in my life; that I’ve gotten to a stage in life where I could afford to pay my rent and sleep and wake up alone. As blissful as that is, paying for expenses these days has helped reshape my thoughts and I’ve found myself questioning that decision. When I was at home with my mum, I could easily contribute to buying foodstuff but living alone made me realise that life goes beyond food. I might have an apartment, but I can’t sleep or sit on the floor, or leave my windows uncovered, among other things. But when I started buying these things, I had to pause at a time and ask what was going on. The prices of things I wanted changed by the time I was ready to make payments. For instance, the gas cooker I had priced at
N20,000 became N25,000. Some even became twice the amount I had priced.
I promised I was going to get accustomed to cooking rather than buying takeout. I should be able to afford takeouts, but I had to remind myself of the need to be frugal. So at the end of the month, I’d send money to someone to buy me foodstuff. I started noticing that the quantity of foodstuff reduced every time it was delivered, until the person told me one day, “Oga, your money no fit cover your things anymore o. Everything don cost.”
Nigeria’s minimum wage is
N30,000 and people can barely survive on that because of inflation. Inflation occurs when the general price level of goods and services in an economy increases over time, leading to a decrease in purchasing ability. This can be caused by a variety of factors but majorly a decrease in the value of the currency. When inflation occurs, there will be increased costs of living and the economy of the country will be hauled down.
But the situation is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. In Kenya, for instance, thousands of people are protesting the high cost of living. Those who earn higher than the minimum wage struggle to make ends meet as living expenses soar, which makes me ponder how others who earn the minimum wage or less cope with the rising inflation and cost of living. At this point, people in positions of leadership in the country need to come up with economic policies that help mitigate the effects of inflation, reduce the cost of living and increase the standard of living of the citizens.
When the cost of living is high, minimum wage becomes useless. No matter how high your income is, you will still be affected in one way or another. A Tiger generator might cost
N78,000 today and in a few months skyrocket to N100,000 or more.
Inflation is turning huge sums of money into tokens, God abeg!
Featured Image: Dreamstime