The rich also cry: Nigeria’s distressed economy was not designed exclusively for the poor.

       By Innocent Goodness

The numerous episodes of economic challenges faced by the country including the recession of 2016, the seven months economic hold caused by the COVID-19 lockdown and the increasing rate of inflation affected only the poor?

Nigeria has experienced eight recessions from 1960 till date. In 2016, the country experienced the worst recession decline since 1987. This episodes of economic breakdown was heralded by excessive government borrowings, overdependence on imported goods and the fall in oil price. Also, the COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020 characterized by curfews and restrictions of movements by the government put a hold on the income of both social classes.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s annual inflation has risen to 28.92% and naira is 1,609 to one dollar. This has adversely affected the lives of the rich and common person alike. Because of this, many organizations find production difficult as the cost of importing essential materials is very high compared to the profit they make at the end. Adding salt to the injury, the naira scarcity and reduced cash flow makes it difficult for people to make quick purchasing decisions. As a result, the real income of organizations that provide these goods or sevice declines, putting many of these corporations at the risk of bankruptcy.

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The removal of fuel subsidy by president Bola Ahmed Tinubu put a strain on the transportation of people and commodities. Fearing the fresh shutdown of factories, the director general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir said, “there are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods”. The high cost of distribution caused by the removal of fuel subsidy, the low profit rate, and reduced demand discourage producers from producing more goods.

Unfortunately, the high unemployment rate amongst the youth has led to many criminal activities against the rich. Many unemployed people engage in fraundalent activities, kidnappings, armed robbery amongst others, harming the rich inorder to acquire wealth themselves. The Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Ogunsakin; the Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Olatunji, and the Alara of Ara-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba were victims of this on the 29th if January, with the Alara of Ara-Ekiti being the sole survivor.

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It’s no longer news that the unsettling state of the economy affects the poor. But, with all the focus on the less privileged, we often neglect the fact that even the rich feel the heat of these harsh economic times.
Therefore, it is imperative that the government should take quick measures to salvage our nosediving economy. Economic reform policies like: strengthening local industries, placing strict import controls, increased level of exports, efficient management of public funds amongst other measures should be adequately implemented.

Also, there should be strict
surveillance on those responsible for the construction of government projects to avoid embezzlement of funds and other corrupt practices in the administration; officials should be accountable for the resources they were entrusted in behalf of the state. These measures will be beneficial to all in the country irrespective of demographic and psychographic differences. United we stand but divided we fall, I believe that with all hands on deck, Nigeria can be restored to her former glory.
Innocent Goodness, a journalist and an undergraduate of Mass Communication at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

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