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Millions of Nigerians suffering from starvation and malnutrition, might soon give up the ghost, following severe hunger that has bedeviled the land.
According to the ‎International Monetary Fund, IMF, Nigeria’s crisis is not just because of the crash in oil prices, but also because of the delayed and poorly managed policy adjustment to the country’s fresh realities.
The ‎IMF said: “Inflation has risen to troubling levels, owing to delayed adjustments and the country’s foreign exchange policy.
“Domestic policy failures cited include delayed/poorly managed policy adjustment to lower commodity prices as in Nigeria, where foreign exchange rationing adversely affected debt service capacity of many corporates.
“While the United Nation’s poverty line ‎raised the country’s poverty line from N374 a day as at January 2016, to N580 a day, at the end of the year, pushing millions into poverty”.
Hike in import duty, review of fuel prices, increase in electricity tariff, devaluation of the naira, has culminated in higher commodity prices across the nation; raising inflation rate from 9.6 percent in 2015 during former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, to 18.55 percent at the end of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies for over 2 years ‎according to Political Analysts, have directly lowered the living standards among Nigerians, whose disposable income were not adjusted upwards, throughout the year 2016.
‎Presently, most average young men or businessmen in Nigeria, want to leave the country, to find greener pastures; no wonder it was reported that the number of people processing International Passports and Visas had tripled, compared to statistics of previous years.
‎Moses Chukwudi, a Foodstuff Trader, said ‎his business had deteriorated so much that he could have left the country, if he was not married to the love of his life.
“Just last year, we bought a bag of garri for N6,000, today the same bag goes for 10,000. I usually stock my store with 50 to 70 bags of garri, and sell about 20 bags in one day. ‎
“Look at this one”, he points to a sparsely stocked storehouse, “I bought 18 bags, and most of them are still there. Before, I would have sold all in a day.”‎ 

Asked why the price of garri has marginally gone up, despite being processed in Nigeria, he said it was due to the rise in the price of palm oil, which is used in fortifying “Benin garri”.‎

‎Another respondent, Anthony Shekara, said: “From last year, the prices of goods in the market have been rising at an alarming rate, with no commensurate cash in the hands of consumers to purchase them”.
News reports have it that in Akwa Ibom, it has become increasingly difficult for corps members to continue to feed on the kind of diet maintained in the earlier parts of 2016, due to the persistent rise in prices of basic staples, while meats and fish are gradually disappearing from their tables.
One of such is Akor Ruth, who said her colleagues who live together in a Christian-run family house, have had to review their monthly payments for food.
The corp members, who have a “common pot”, usually contribute N5,000 per month, to buy food items for the month. But that has since changed.
“We had to increase monthly payment from N5,000 to N6,000, yet we have had to slash some things we put in our food. We don’t eat meat again, we don’t eat fish again, its only egg, and that is like once or twice a week”, the corp member lamented.
‎Living standards, according to the World Bank, are measured by income and expenditure. In Nigeria’s case, real income has dropped over the past 12 months, with the massive fall in the value of the naira, and rising unemployment.
With prices of goods and services taking a flight, the standard of living for Nigerians, has evidently dropped.
In Utako market, ‎Nkemdirim Richards said: “Things are so expensive now, that the food stuffs I used to get for my family, I cannot get most of them now.
“I spend the same amount to get barely half of what I do get for a month’s supply now,” Richards, said with a mix of hope and frustration.
While ‎Raheemat Balogun, said: “This recession is biting hard on us. Can you imagine a bowl of garri is now N350? Buhari should help us before we wont be able to afford to feed ourselves anymore in Nigeria.”
“I don’t even know what to say about the prices of foodstuff now.
“We can’t afford ordinary garri again. A bag of rice is almost N20,000 That’s the amount my family’ budgets for a month on foodstuff.”

Most unfortunately, there is no hope in sight, as no concrete approach or policy have been put forward to tackle the nationwide biting hunger.


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