By Doyin Okupe
In the last two weeks I have had personal experiences that I found worrisome.
Prices of food items, goods and services changing every 24hrs!
I am doing some little construction work in my house and I bought a bag of 4 inch nails@ N12 000. The carpenter later told me I will need another half a bag to complete the job. Next day when my guy went for the second bag the price had changed to N13,000!
In my home town, Iperu which is the original home of Ofada rice with a special “green sauce”, I always treat myself and my friends with this our staple food. For an adult up till last year December, we bought N250 rice and N250 (5pieces of cutlets) meat.
Today exactly the same quantity of rice is N500 and the 5 pieces of meat is also N500.
Yesterday at Mile 12 market these are the prevailing prices of some food items I got.
50kg rice N26k
100kg beans N36k
80kg gari N24k
One basket of tomatoes N28k, one basket pepper( rodo) 20k.
In december 2020 these same food items were averaged 50% less than above quoted prices.
For a low-income bachelor, he will spend minimum of N700 per day on food. N100 bread with or without margarine in the morning. N300 on fufu/ amala/gari with N200 meat for lunch and indomie or gari for dinner.
If he is an unskilled labourer he will earn N3000 daily for days he is engaged in the month. If a Maiguard or gateman he will earn N20,000 to M30,000 a month. If a clerk/messenger/ dispatch rider/ driver he may earn N40000 to N50,000 per month.
Averagely 50 to 60 per cent of this poor wages go on food. Another 30% on transport. Only 20% remains for rent, utility bills,clothing, health etc.
The narrative above is just adequate to maintain a life line and physical existence or survival for those who are still engaged one way or the other.
For the unemployed, skilled and unskilled, graduates or school leavers or dropouts, the story is of misery, pains and woes. Temptation to crime is virtually inevitable for many without family or communal support.
My apprehension is this: if the current spiralling inflation and astronomical increases in food prices are unchecked, with a staggering population of about 200million, and close to 30% unemployment figures, civil war may not be our immediate fear but rather an internal ubiquitous class war as a consequence of generalised and pervasive hunger may be our worst nightmare.
Shortly I will do another piece on what I will do at this moment if I were the President of Nigeria.
THIS IS JUST A LIGHT SERMON FOR THIS SUNDAY.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL FATHERS IN THE HOUSE.