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Nigerian Markets on a Gradual Lockdown

Peter Jerome

The commercial market of the nation is heading to a gradual lockdown. TMS News independent research indicates that while the social space is deeply distracted with the numerous cases of insecurity, banditry, terrorism, corruption, and so on, the underlying evil which is the unnoticed cause of all these mishaps, is killing us slowing but steadily.

The precarious effect of the ridiculous economic life of the Nigerian nation is now throwing a heavy blow on the socio-economic and domestic life of the nation. A respondent noted that “the sad implication of this is that in the shortest possible time, there will always be something to hasten the death of the common Nigerian”.  He said, “if terrorists do not destroy you, herdsmen will displace you, if bandits do not rob you, kidnappers will take you, if boko haram do not decapitate you, then HUNGER will kill you.” What this implies is that the socio- economic and even the domestic space of an average Nigerian is under severe threat.

A critical perusal into the commercial market will reveal massive distortions in the financial and capital markets. The indiscriminate rise in the price of goods and commodities could spell doom for survival and hamper livelihood. Months ago, when the country experienced a hike in the price of rice, the situation was blamed on the on the closure of border. With the advent of local production, competition set in, and the price of rice stabilized a bit though still far from what it used to be. The big question now is are the borders still closed again?

The price of even the least commodities now is doubled if not tripled, the skyrocketing gap so exaggerating and seemingly unbelievable. The price of a sachet water, the most affordable, near-hygienic source of drinking water for an average Nigerian has double in price, from #10 to #20 just in a blink of an eye. Businesses are now struggling to survive, shops are on the verge of locking down, even the mega shops are now suffocating to restock.

A shopping pilgrimage into one of the leading mega shop in Abuja, located at the Central Business Area, sharing business neighborhood with the Country’s apex financial institution – the Central Bank, the administrative oil headquarters of the nation – the NNPC, amongst other top ranking national institutions tell another story. In most of these places, one will likely be welcomed with a myriad of empty shelves, an indication that the high-net-worth merchants are under severe strains.

Even our financial markets need a miracle. The current exchange rate of United States Dollar to naira is now about #505, pounds sterling is running into #785 and euro, a little above #550, even the cedi now leads the naira to about #80 margin. “What is our fate here in this portion of the world that looks as if God has not finished creating?

This is the deep-seated devil that has given birth to the many evils suffocating this nation, because a hungry man remains an angry man, a man in a hunt for survival can hunt a fellow man if that can guarantee his survival.

Kidnap for Ransome is now a lucrative public business and commodity, young graduates are conscripted into terrorism because there is no gainful engagement for them, the price of goods and commodities keeps kicking up, but the individuals’ income and wages remains static, but when survival becomes necessary, violence and crime becomes imminent.

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