Nigerians have embraced several ingenious measures to survive the hard times resulting from the increase in fuel prices across the country.
Speaking with Vanguard over the weekend, many people said they no longer use cars but join commercial vehicles while others trek distances to meet up with the hike.
In some cases, people said they were not using air-conditioners, or generator sets in their homes, while uniform clothes for parties popularly known as aso ebi have been abandoned.
The litre of petrol jumped from N160 to N510 on May 29, 2023, after the announcement by President Bola Tinubu, that the fuel subsidy was removed.
This resulted in an increment in prices of goods and services in a nation already battling 22.77 per cent inflation, but Nigerians were yet to recover when a litre of petrol again increased to N617 last Tuesday.
Speaking about means of survival, Nigerians vented their frustrations and what they have embraced to survive.
A politician and farmer in Ondo State, Zadok Akintoye, said, “To adjust, I am aware that some of my friends and associates have had to sell off one or more cars for low fuel-consuming vehicles. Some pre-plan their movement.
“Citizens would look for cheaper options to meet their basic nutrient needs. The full impact of the policies you see now would become fully felt in about one year.
“My advice is for citizens to tame their expectations and prepare for the worst.”
Abandon cars for commercial buses
Speaking in that regard, a civil servant, Mr Jonah Bulus, whose office is located on Lagos Island, said, “Spending about N35, 000 to fuel your car weekly is not sustainable. I reside in Ikorodu.
“When this whole madness started, I thought I could be managing half a tank, which is about N16, 000, but it wasn’t possible. How much am I earning?
“I don’t own the house I reside in. I have other bills, which have also skyrocketed. What I use now is public transportation. I use BRT buses. Some of my friends even use ferry but I have a phobia of water transportation.’’
Another Lagos resident, Mr. Eziashi Ifeanyi, said since he had no control over the usage of power in his household, he often turned off the entire electricity from the central switch any time he felt his children were wasting power.
He said, “For me, it’s survival first. Since I don’t want to have issues with my wife over how she uses electrical appliances at home, especially the air-conditioner, I usually turn off the power switch from the central control system. When I do that, they would assume it is the usual power failure.”
Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Ogun State, Wale Olanrewaju, said: “With the current economic hardship in the country, Nigerians should not go beyond their limit. This is not the time to be spending on luxury.
“We should do away with anything that is not that important to us at this crucial period. Things like Aso Ebi and other unnecessary things should be avoided.
“While buying food items, people should embrace bulk buying. The more you buy in bulk, the more you can bargain properly and the cheaper the things you buy.
“As much as possible, one should avoid going into debt, unless there is a clear capacity to repay it. If you must take loan, you have to use it on profitable ventures that will yield returns.’’
In Ibadan, Oyo State, an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan, Christiana Akande, said: “I have reduced the way I purchase food from food vendors. I now deliberately skip meals. I am spending more money to get less quantity and quality of food items. I buy more Garri and rice because Indomie Noodles is a luxury. Since my rent expired two months ago, I was forced to get a roommate to split the cost of the new apartment I just rented.’’
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