Coping with recession: Nigerians react

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Many Nigerians now prepare a ‘mini-budget’ to determine their spending as a measure for coping with the economic situation in the country.

The oil-rich nation is reeling in a 39-year-high economic recession that kicked midyear.

Faruoq Ado, a civil servant in Dutse, interviewed by NAN, said since the current economic recession started, he has been making purchases strictly on his monthly estimate.

Azumi Shehu, another civil servant in Dutse and also a widow, said the recession was a big challenge for her and her family.

Ms Shehu disclosed that she had reduced their three square meals to two due to the recession that made prices of foodstuff to skyrocket.

She explained that after breakfast, she cooked lunch for the family and ensured it also served as dinner.

According to her, the hardship has disciplined the family on how to manage and get satisfied with the little available to them.

Also, Sajo Maitaya said that the recession had taught him how to live according to his means.

He said that he was extravagant before the recession, but now spent on basic needs only.

Mr. Maitaya said that he had intended to have a third wife but had to “tarry a while’’ due to economic challenges.

Accordingly, Baffa Sani, another resident, said that he had been forced to transfer four of his children from private to public schools due to the recession.

Sani said he can no longer cope with high school fees in the private schools.

In Gombe, some residents called on President Muhammadu Buhari to introduce price control mechanisms and enforce compliance.

They said that such measures would assist in reducing the hardship faced by ordinary Nigerians as a result of the economic downturn.

“If government imposes price control on foodstuff, medicine and other essential commodities, it will reduce the hardship by more than 50 per cent,” Idris Abdullahi, a civil servant in Gombe, said.

He said that people were not saving money any longer as there were no extra left after the purchase of basic items.

Muhammad Muhammad, another resident, said although the recession was a bad omen, it had its advantage as it had forced a lot of people to go back to the farm.

“Not only have Nigerians gone back to the farm, they also have imbibed fiscal discipline as the culture of extravagant spending has gone,” he noted.

Similarly, respondents in Yola have also advised government to establish Price Control Board to check the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.

They were of the view that the hike was being engineered deliberately by shylock business person to maximise profit, hiding under the excuse of “meltdown in the national and global economy’’.

Joshua Dogo, a barber in Jimeta, said that lack of money in circulation had affected his business negatively.

Dogo said that the number of customers, who used to visit his shop, had dropped drastically.

He said that the situation had made him to adjust all his ways of life and, therefore, urged the government to introduce price control measures to mitigate the economic hardship.

Adamu Mohammed, a tricycle operator in Yola, said that the economic downturn had made a lot of people to develop the habit of trekking.

According to him, this development has reduced patronage of his service, leaving him with little income compared to what obtained in the past.

He said that the situation had affected his savings, explaining that the N3,000 that he used to save on daily basis was no longer forthcoming.

Mohammed said that the ‘jamboree’ lifestyle that he subscribed to in the past had to be replaced with austere life pattern, adding that he no longer “attends wedding ceremonies and splash money” as was the case before.

He called on the Federal Government to establish a commodity price control organ of government that would regulate the activities of shylock businessmen.

Meanwhile, some people in Bauchi consider the economic meltdown as a global recession while others see it as being engineered by some selfish Nigerians to thwart efforts of the present administration in addressing the damage done to the country’s economy by past regimes.

Mohammed Yahaya, a lecturer with Bauchi State College for Agriculture, views it as a global recession being experienced worldwide.

On his part, Habila Danket, an economist, alleged that the problem was created by previous administrations in the country.

Messrs. Yahaya and Danket said that the recession had negatively impacted on their lives, forcing them to adjust their lifestyles to survive.

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