Fellow country-people… we are all in this recession together.

Monday, October 31, 2016

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Photo-Credits: www.hopefornigeriaonline.com

Not every bad thing is an entirely bad thing. Sometimes, a bad thing can be a good thing. Or at the least, have some good outcome.

Like that week I sprained my ankle. Having attempted and failed at brandishing my superwoman powers, by trekking all over the city with my 1.5 legs, I  limped home, and was confined to bed rest for a while.

My busy mind went into overdrive. I was finally able to catch up on some “I will do it tomorrow work that had been pending for months. I even had enough time on my hands when I was done to call long forgotten Uncles and Aunties and Cousins. And (finally!) dig out that curl-comb I had been wondering whether the people from the village had sent Harry Porter’s cousins to ‘tap’ from me

Who says pain is always a bad thing?


Waste. That is another example.

Since this recession, some of us have learnt in practical what Karl Marx and the rest of the economic theorists have tried to teach us: Opportunity Cost.

We have learnt to cut down on waste.

We are learning the hard way, the principle of ‘do not buy it, if you do not need it’. Or at the very least, get the best price possible. We now practice conscious spending...whether at home or overseas.

(You should have seen me attempting to haggle chocolate in Walmart)

We - the Nigerian people - are learning the hard way to put plugs in the holes.

Correction: The Nigerian masses are learning the hard way to put plugs in the holes. Our leaders are not genuinely serious about learning anything that has to do with waste management.

(When the number of the Presidential private jets and salaries of Legislators have been slashed reasonably, send me the memo to re-insert the original phrase.

But I pander away..

What I have found truly amazing is the various emerging innovative ways we, Nigerians, are finding daily to each eke a living and make ends meet, even in these hard times. I now understand for the first time how a large number of Fortune 500 companies were birthed at the height (or lowest actually) of one economic depression or the other. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

I love that 'village' things like egusi, ogiri, local pap, e.t.c are finding their way into supermarkets and malls. I was in gleeful awe… walking down the aisle of one 'aje-bota' supermarket when I saw my favourite snack, Ukwa (roasted breadfruit), packaged in plastic containers and arranged side by side with (now crazily expensive!) foreign nuts.

Oh lawd… I went into a frenzy! And grabbed about eight (8) containers in my powerful arms (big is good), smiling sheepishly to myself, saying how mummy will like some, neighbour would like some, I would snack, and snack, and snack on it...

That is, until I saw the price tag.

(Holy bread and butter!!)

I was not even aware of when I did an unconscious moonwalk right back to the rack and returned seven packs, sorrowfully trudging to the check-out counter with the one remaining pack; knowing I'd probably count 6 pieces to eat per day, and hide the pack at the bottom of my box, away from my 'co-tenants'. Because... recession.

Sadly… some good things do not last forever.

And that, dear friend, is my problem.

Yes...we all are going through this recession. It is alright to take up prices of goods to make ends meet.

But, I do not understand inflating prices madly... as if punishing the Consumer for the inflation. I ask: the person purchasing the product … are they not suffering this recession too? Is your recession different from my own?? Is it not ‘our’  joint recession??? Or are you in a different recession that has spare tyre???


The same amount of Ukwa would ordinarily be sold for N600 at 9th Mile, Enugu. Add N200 per pack for gain (33% profit!). Add another N100 per pack for transportation. Throw in an extra N120 per pack for ‘inflation’. Include another N150, for being sold in an ‘aje-bota’ shop. Total = N1,170. Instead of the ridiculous N2,050 at which it was pegged.

(I know… my powers of 'calculation' = Igbo woman sturvs)

It’s the same way Aunty Ajobi (you know ‘her’ now) has hiked her portion of efo from about N150 to N300. And reduced one portion by two-thirds! I almost wept the last time I patronized her, but hunger did not allow me storm out in righteous indignation. For all my ‘human rights activism’, I could only feel helpless.

(Blame the not cooking on capitalism, torn ligaments, and blogging)

What I find more mind boggling than this daylight ‘thiefry’ is this government’s approach to fighting the recession…

So the Nigerian people are suffering. How to alleviate it? Generate more funds. How to generate more funds? Increase existing levies/taxes and introduce new takes. Introduce the Communications Tax (whatever that is). Re-introduce payment of inter-state toll fees. Against the Nigerian people: so as to generate funds… for the Nigerian people.

Is it just my pressing my ‘big-geh’ Sagem (MY X-5) back then during undergrad Economics class that is not making me to understand this… or does this just not make sense? That we suffer the people who are already suffering, because… recession?

I know times are hard, and we all must survive. But in thinking up strategies and innovations for survival, is it possible to not be too ‘shylock-ish’?

Remember… the more affordable your product is, the greater number of people who can actually purchase it. Higher volume of purchases will result into greater turnover and (invariably) increased profits, which profits can be ploughed back into the business. And the cycle goes on.

It is bad enough that this recession has hidden our purse. Please… let it not take away our humanity.




P.s. If you happen to be travelling through 9th Mile… would you be altruistic enough to grab some nylons of Ukwa??

Don’t worry about how I’ll get it. Like Liam Neeson says: “I will find you…”

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  1. I laughed from the beginning to the end. LOL Chai!! Ma'ma shinnel you'd not kill somebody.

    Biko, tell them oh that this recession is our recession. We are in it together and we'd leave it together. Imagine, a sachet of pure water that used to be 5 naira is now 15 naira. Even at that, it is now scarce. And I'm here asking, how did recession affect pure water biko? They bore a hole and pump the water out for free, it's only the nylon they buy. Why then did they now increase the price? And because they are in a union, all sachet water producers would make a price and stick to it. Nigerians always looking for a way to take advantage of everything. I taya.

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