Seyi Adeola, a primary school teacher walks 30 minutes to the school she teaches every day as she can no longer afford to pay for a bus.
Vincent Okeke, a 42-year-old fuel attendant now sleeps overnight at the filling station where he works to avoid the prohibitive cost of commuting daily from Ikorodu to Maryland.
Uchechi Iruke, who runs a provision store, was forced to transfer her daughter to a nearby public school where she operates her business as she could no longer afford a private schooling owing to high school fees.
Since President Bola Tinubu was sworn in 100 days ago, Adeola, Okeke and Iruke struggle is now the reality of millions of households across the country.
After his inauguration, the President has shaken up the country with bold economic reforms that have excited investors but robbed households of their spending power and renewed pressure on them.
The subsidy removal, naira devaluation, and the implementation of a value-added tax on diesel imports are causing further spikes in the prices of goods and amplifying a cost-of-living crisis in Africa’s biggest economy.
Despite declaring a state of emergency on food security and unveiling an immediate, short and long-term plan for the sector, average food prices of key staples across major cities in the country have surged by over 20 percent since he assumed office, causing food inflation to hit 26.98 percent in July – a new 17 year high.
“I barely afford my children’s school fees because I have been unable to save for it. We now eat twice daily instead of three times,” Salaudeen Mogaji, a bus driver said while explaining how the past three months have been for his family.
According to him, he usually makes an average of N 19,000 daily as a driver plying Freedom Way Lekki before President Tinubu was sworn in but now struggles to make N4,000.
He said this has totally changed the living condition of his family as they cannot afford all they used to before.
It is getting difficult daily for Nigerians, especially with the recent petrol subsidy removal and naira float and other reforms the Tinubu’s led-government is doing, Demola Balogun, a mechanic at Ketu, Lagos, said.
“They are good reforms but they are seriously hurting Nigerians and businesses. My family can’t even afford to eat thrice daily anymore as prices keep soaring,” Balogun said.
In response to popular journalist Oseni Rufai question “Tell me your first 100 days experience of this administration” Nigerians answered saying the following:
Ada Emma, a software developer said, “My purchasing power has reduced drastically. Struggling to meet financial budgets due to the high cost of living, we first chop.”
@Pep_pius said, “This is it, spending half of your salary on transport, then trekking most times shoes get spoiled and there’s no way to replace them. This is not how envisioned this to be, it’s draining.”
Stanley, an engineer said, “The last 100 days have been filled with lies, fuel hike, high taxation, increased agbero, intimidation from security operatives, lack of empathy to the populace and disregard for the rule of law.” “100 days of shege banza.”
Another said, “My account is going from green to red because the high cost of living generally has never been this bad since I became conscious that I am a Nigerian, having to take care of family, and loved ones. It has been crazy. But I thank God for keeping us alive.”
Households are weighed down by stalled income growth and rising prices. The situation is worse for most Nigerians living from hand to mouth, which means they spend virtually everything they earn to sustain themselves daily, there’s little or no spare cash to tuck away in a savings account.
No fewer than 133 million Nigerians live in multidimensional poverty, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The statistics agency also reported that inflation hit 24.08 percent in July 2023, accelerating at the fastest pace in recent years.
The renewed pressure is not only felt by households, but businesses as well as the recent reforms are already taking their toll and threatening to keep many out of business.