Nigerian families are facing unprecedented hardship as the cost of living skyrockets, with staple food prices reaching alarming levels. Among these staples, rice, a dietary mainstay for many households, has surged to an exorbitant N77,000 per bag.
In December, the National Bureau of Statistics reported a staggering 28.9% inflation rate, the highest in 27 years. This steep rise in prices has left families grappling with financial strain, as incomes fail to keep pace with soaring expenses.
Food sellers in major cities have bemoaned the nearly 200% increase in the cost of rice. Long grain rice, which was priced at N45,000 to N50,000 in November, now commands over N70,000 per bag, placing immense pressure on consumers.
The dire situation has prompted protests across the nation, from Kano to Niger, Rivers to Osun, as residents express their frustration over the economic hardship.
In response to the outcry, organized labor has threatened industrial action to protest the prevailing economic conditions. Despite government efforts to distribute relief items, citizens continue to grapple with skyrocketing commodity prices.
In Lagos, residents voiced their concerns, lamenting the relentless surge in food costs. Many struggle to afford basic necessities, with some calling on the government to intervene urgently.
The economic downturn has not spared entrepreneurs, who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat amidst dwindling sales and rising operating costs.
In a bid to mitigate the crisis, the Akwa Ibom State government announced plans to establish a bulk purchase agency to regulate food prices and ensure affordability for citizens. Similarly, the Kwara State government distributed rice palliatives to labor unions to alleviate the burden on workers.
In Anambra State, residents are feeling the pinch of soaring food prices, with staples like rice, beans, and palm oil becoming increasingly unaffordable. The escalating cost of living has forced many to ration food and adopt drastic cost-cutting measures to survive.
As families grapple with the economic fallout, there is a growing sense of urgency for decisive government action to address the root causes of the crisis and provide relief to struggling citizens.