N617 Petrol: Unconventional Survival Strategies Amidst Harsh Economic Conditions
In light of the removal of petrol subsidy, Nigerians have resorted to various inventive and sometimes extraordinary measures to cope with the increasingly difficult economic situation.
The removal of the subsidy led to a significant hike in petrol prices, resulting in the escalation of the prices of goods and services in an economy already struggling with high inflation rates. As a consequence, the purchasing power of the people declined, and the value of the national currency further depreciated.
This precarious situation has forced individuals to adopt survival strategies to make ends meet. Many have given up their cars and generator sets, while others have abandoned extravagant expenditures like Aso Ebi (traditional clothing), in an attempt to manage their finances effectively.
The impact of the petrol price hike has been particularly severe on the energy sector, leading to acute electricity challenges. As a result, more people and businesses find it challenging to power their generator sets, exacerbating the situation.
In addition to these challenges, the nation faces a stagnant income level, with the Minimum Wage at N30,000 and a high unemployment rate of 37.7 percent. The poverty rate has risen, pushing millions of Nigerians into the poverty trap.
To mitigate the adverse effects of the petrol subsidy removal, the government proposed to distribute N8,000 to 12 million people for six months. However, this measure falls short of addressing the growing poverty levels and has been met with skepticism by the public.
As a result of the increasing fuel price, citizens have embraced cost-cutting strategies, such as reducing electricity consumption, opting for public transportation, and embracing bulk buying to save on expenses. Many have resorted to walking longer distances or turning off power sources to conserve energy.
The harsh economic conditions have also affected businesses, leading some to reduce the number of working days for their employees to cope with rising costs. Additionally, car sales have declined significantly as people seek more fuel-efficient and affordable alternatives.
In conclusion, the removal of petrol subsidy has brought unprecedented challenges to Nigerians, leading to innovative survival strategies amidst tough economic times. The situation calls for a comprehensive and sustainable solution to address the rising poverty and social inequality faced by the nation.