Features, People

MORE NIGERIANS SLIDE INTO POVERTY (4)

Since the economic meltdown in 2009, the country has not fully recovered from its effect. To worsen the situation, the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a couple of weeks back warned of another recession that might hit hard on the nation.

The recession has left families struggling in making ends meet. Most families have even resulted to taking two square meals a day since they cannot afford the regular three.

The number of unemployed graduates keeps rising daily. In Nigeria, over a quarter of all homes have either nobody working or are under paid. Foodstuffs keep skyrocketing compounded with high rent and increasing school fees. A lot of children will be sent out of school in a couple of days because parents may not afford to pay on resumption.

ENCOMIUM Weekly sampled some bread winners’ opinion about the continuous struggle for survival.

 

Mr. Justice Olatunji

With the current state of things in Nigeria, pray we wouldn’t all be eating from the trash can in future.

Our leaders are not helping matters, all the good people that can transform the nation and give us hope have run under their beds for cover. An average Nigerian eat from hand to mouth. Most people cannot afford medicare again. Some people can only eat once a day. I wonder what will happen in three years.

Mr. Daramola Solomon

We should not stop praying for Nigeria. I believe things can still change. We should also beg our leaders not to ruin the country. You can imagine, a man paying N300,000 per year for a rented apartment, when will he raise money to build his own house? When feeding, clothing, school fees, medicare is there.

That is why some people only have a child. Even at that, wouldn’t they cater for that one. It is really disheartening, my sister.

 

Mr. Emmanuel Falola

I spend most of my earning on feeding, accommodation and school fees. Despite the fact that myself and my wife are working, we still struggle to meet up. My wife had to start selling toiletries aside her teaching job, while I also took up some marketing and supply jobs to meet up.

House rent has been on the increase. We paid 250,000 last year, our landlord just sent a letter of increment to us this week.  We will now be paying N300,000. If not for the ASUU strike, our two children in the higher institutions would have gone back to school. I don’t even know how much my wife spends on food, she is the one handling that aspect. Atimes I wonder if Government even exists in Nigeria.

 

Mr. Segun Anifowose

I am a local government employee. We are managing according to our means. My wife also works with one of the local government. We have three children, two in primary school, one in secondary school. We are waiting for the one in secondary school to start senior secondary so we can take her to a government school. Her school fee is increasingly unbearable. We are managing to pay for the other two. God blessed us with a car this year, it was given to us in my office. If not, where on earth will I get money to pay for a car of my own? As for our house rent, we live in one of the low cost housing estates. We are living within our means.

 

Mr. Adeagbo Michael

A lot of people find it difficult to eat three square meals. We are all struggling to survive. Even the so called rich are complaining, paying school fees is almost impossible . I have two children in primary school. School resumed last week, I have not finished paying their school fees. Hopefully, when we collect September salary, I will pay.

 

Mr. Chibuzo Nwosu

We are depending on God to meet our needs. We now pay N150,000 for our two bedroom flat. We moved out from our other apartment when the rent became unbearable. Our landlord increased it from N200,000 to N250,000. You need to see the kind of house. I am a single parent, my son attends a neighborhood school, and we pay 60,000. I make sure my fiancée buys food for us every month. I have to take the pain in cooking because I cannot afford to be eating out all the time.

 

Mrs. Omoboriola Adeyeye

The state of the nation is worrisome. Things are too expensive. It is as if we don’t have government . For instance, I was paying N120,000 for a two bedroom flat, it is now N150,000. My children’s school fees also increased this session. We were paying N210,000 for three children before, it is now N300,000. We had to change their school because we couldn’t afford that amount. Now, it is what we can afford to eat at home, no more every Saturday Tantalizers again. We are just managing.

 

Mrs. Akinola Faderera

Coping with the high standard of living is quite demanding. I am a widow. I have three children, one of them is still in school, house rent is killing. I am even thinking of moving from our two bed room flat to a self contain. My salary is becoming too small to manage. I am a teacher, working with Lagos State government. I don’t know how to cope again. You can imagine, I am paying N250,000 for a two bedroom flat. Feeding, school fees and other maintenance are there.

 

Mrs. Eberechukwu Oyita

I am just living on the grace of God, I borrow virtually every month. So, it is like I don’t even have monthly salary again because they will deduct from it to service my debt. I am a widow, working as a teacher in a police school. I have three children. Despite the fact that they are working, things are still tough. ASUU is not helping matters. My first two children are supposed to be graduates now, if not for the ASUU strike. At least, that responsibility would have been totally off my shoulder. I pay N150,000 for our accommodation, feeding takes 10,000 a month, we will even have to manage that. A year ago, we were not spending up to that.

–  SHADE WESELY-METIBOGUN

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