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Nigerians crippled by economy as financial woes torment millions

Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian military ruler and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) speaks during an interview with Reuters at a private residence in Lagos February 19, 2011. Buhari, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria's presidential election, said he was optimistic it would be a more credible race than in the past but warned events in north Africa showed people would no longer accept a rigged vote. Picture taken February 19, 2011. To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/  REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

The unsually-high exchange rate, crashing global oil price and embezzling of public funds by corrupt official have all conspired to make life unbearable for the ordinary Nigerian on the streets.

ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with some on the economic condition of the country and here’s what they said…


‘There’s no denying it, times are hard’ – Christopher Odunayo

There’s no denying it, times are hard. Some months back, I was reflecting on my daily recurrent expenditure and I was surprised at how much that one spends without realising it. That’s one way I’ve been coping, thinking through my major spending decisions.

I think the banks are key in helping us through this period. They should lend more to small business people. If more people become business owners as against job seekers, that should help. Also, let’s improve our exports. We have things that we can export.


‘Things are hard’ – Kingsley Obikwame

Things are hard. When you try explaining to them why you’re not forthcoming like before, they don’t believe, but my family comes first before anything.

First, let us recover all the monies in the hands of looters. I think that’ll go a long way. We can’t rely on oil sales unlike before.


‘We do not have a choice than to cope with the present situation’ – Ayomitokewa Famuyiwa

We do not have a choice than to cope with the present situation. We all wanted change in Nigeria and for that change to come, it has to be a gradual process. When a thing wants to improve, it will get a bit tight and difficult before it improves so, the same thing applies to the economic situation in Nigeria, the change cannot come at once so we just have to endure.

One of the major things to be addressed is corruption. The major thing is to fight corruption and that is what our President is doing. It should not be the money everybody is supposed to enjoy will be spent by one person. I believe when there is no corruption, then resources can reach out to all.


‘The exchange rate of the dollar is affecting my business’ – Akinyemi Adedayo

I am managing. The exchange rate of the dollar is affecting my business. I really want it to reduce. If it does not, it will really affect my business.


‘The economy is still very tough’ – Debbie Soewu

The economy is still very tough. A lot of graduates are out there roaming the streets, nothing to count on. Each day, the country is like a step backward economically. I am yet to feel the impact of Buhari’s much published change agenda. We need action, not much noise again.

I need a meaningful job to cope with the present situation. Everything is getting much more expensive. The Federal Government must find a workable solution to all the ailing sectors so as to push the nation’s economy forward this year.


‘We can’t afford to remain on the same spot’ – Lowo Adegbenjo

Left to me, I won’t condemn Buhari’s administration. I believe the man could have done better if not that the previous administration looted the whole treasury. Even governing your home as a family is not an easy task, let alone a whole nation that its economy has been basterdized by some criminals before Buhari took over.

If he’s not through with the recovery of all the loots, there’s nowhere to get the money to fund his government. But in all, Nigeria needs to move forward. We can’t afford to remain on the same spot. I think he should focus on agriculture so that there will be food everywhere.

If that’s sorted out, every other thing is minimal. He should also work on the power sector so that we can have more of small scale businesses and even large ones in the economy.


‘Nigeria economy is bad now’ – Obi Uzor

The economy is still bad and the experience right now is not palatable at all. As I speak, I have not finished paying my children’s school fees. I still have a lot of other things to attend to including rent, feeding and all that. Yet, the money is not coming from anywhere. Food stuffs are on the high side for the poor.

Since May 29, 2015, nothing has changed, instead the situation is getting worse by the day. But in all, once you’re alive, you just have to be grateful to God.

Left to me, I think the best way to approach or reduce poverty level in Nigeria is to shift attention from crude oil to farming, so far the oil price globally crashes every day. We shouldn’t wait till a barrel of crude oil becomes $10 before we begin to find solution to our economic problem.

The Federal Government should initiate a programme that will encourage mechanized farming. In the process, there will be high utilization of all the abandoned lands which will generate food. And when there is plenty food, our problem is half solved.


‘I will say God has been providing for me and my family’ – Chiwendu Philips

I will say God has been providing for me and my family. The high prices of goods are not helping matters due to the increase in the dollar but with time, things will take shape. I think we should give President Buhari enough time to settle the economic situation, because when he started as President, the government purse was empty but with our support, Nigeria will become a better place.


‘I have been coping well’ – Lilian Ukeme

I have been coping well. As you can see, I am a trader. So, whatever profit I make, I use it to feed my family but I am surviving. Buhari should help us reduce the exchange rate so that the cost of goods will reduce. He should work on our agriculture sector so that we can also gain from it.


‘The economy is really in a very bad shape’ – Ayo Dada

Going by the continuous decline in oil prices, especially when our economy is oil driven, the economy is really in a very bad shape. For me, I’d rather focus on my own economy, at least I can confidently boast of zero corruption.

What I think he can do is eliminate corruption. All stolen funds must be returned, no plea bargain. Open up other sectors like solid minerals, agriculture and manufacturing. Government itself must patronise local manufacturers and also cut down lending rates.

There’s need to strengthen government institutions and scrap or merge duplicated ones. They can also regulate and monitor activities of foreign companies. I also think the cost of governance should be drastically reduced for all sectors-executive, legislative and judiciary. States and local governments inclusive. They should also build infrastructure.


‘I would always survive, no matter the situation’ – Gbenga Adu

As a typical Nigerian that I am, I would always survive, no matter the situation, I am a business man so, what I do is double my efforts so I can cater for my family. I’m not an economist or finance expert, but the best bet is to do whatever will reduce or completely end the present difficult economic situation.


‘God has been helping us’ – Tobiloba Alao

God has been helping us, the situation of things in Nigeria in the past few months have not been so good. I had to cut budget for some things in the home. I really can’t suggest, all I’m asking is for them to make things easier by providing jobs.


‘We don’t have a choice than to cope’ – Toye Oluwafemi

We don’t have a choice than to cope. Thank God we are surviving. I believe it is just for a while. Things will soon get better by the grace of God. The newly appointed ministers have a lot to do especially the minister in charge of mineral resources, finance and agriculture. These are sectors that we need to improve upon in other to take the nation forward.


‘I have started a small business in addition to what I do’ – Funke Sunday

We thank God for his grace. I have started a small business in addition to what I do. I am also back to school, I believe if I improve my qualification, I can get better opportunities. Most importantly, I have a scale of preference. No more sympathy in buying what I don’t need or have money to pay for. Before now, I go for anything I love. Once I love that thing, I get it for myself. I can’t do that anymore.

The government should tighten their belt and look for a way out.

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