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How to manage your finances amid soaring prices

As the Nigerian economy continues to bite harder with no respite in sight, experts suggest that making a plan and sticking to it is the best way to beat the soaring prices, Oluwakemi Abimbola writes..READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶▶▶

“What are these prices?” Priscilla Adeoye screamed as she held up a pack of beans to show her mother, who was on a video call with her as she went grocery shopping in Kuje, Abuja, where she had recently relocated to.

Adeoye, a business development executive who moonlights as an influencer, was filled with lamentations as she continued shopping. At a point, she and her mum decided on the essentials and she bought only those while deciding to try the open markets for the other items on her list in the hope that they would be cheaper.

As content for her social media audience, Adeoye filmed the content of her grocery bag and the receipt. Packs of Ijebu garri, beans, semo, and a plate of salad cost close to N15,000 and her list was still so long. She was not sure her food budget would stretch for the rest of the month.

A father of four, Chidi Echebore, speaking with The PUNCH, was full of praise for his wife, who had been maintaining the feeding allowance of his home despite his inability to increase it.

“I know she is trying. I do not how she does it these days, but I still get food to eat at home. I have not increased the allowance. I know there is a lot of support coming from her.

“When I’m at home, I see how our children eat and I just wonder if we are going to survive these children’s eating habits. I know it is not their fault that the economy is like this but it is not funny,” Echebore lamented.

Echebore, who is a civil servant in a South-West state, added that there were some items that he had stopped buying daily, like bread, which he said his children would finish in minutes.

His woes have even been compounded by school fees.

“See, eh, let’s leave school fees for now,” he said in a passive tone.

A marketing officer for an insurance firm, Omowunmi Adenle, shared how she had been managing with her family as the prices of foodstuffs, especially tomatoes, rose in the markets.

“Some weeks back, I went to Iyana Iba market in Lagos to buy food items and I was dumbfounded by the prices. I could not buy half of what I needed. Tomatoes were too expensive, and the prices of yam did not make sense to me. I had to leave there and go to Ijora the next day.

“I had no idea that things had become so bad compared to the last time I bought foodstuffs. As I was lamenting, the traders were doing the same thing, and I did not know what to do for a while. I was confused. Afterward, I bought only the essentials but in smaller quantities, than I would usually buy. I’m not looking forward to going to the market anytime soon. So, I will have to see about stretching things I bought for longer. It is time to get creative in the kitchen,” she noted.

She added that she had been asking her mother and friends for recipes that do not involve the use of tomatoes or even pepper, just to cope with the hike in tomato prices.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, said that the rise in the price of tomatoes was a result of an infestation known as Tomato Ebola, which reduced its availability.

Aside from the recent hike in the prices of tomatoes, the state of the Nigerian economy has left many weighing their choices and often picking the cheaper options as inflation bites harder with no respite in sight.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.69 per cent in April, with food inflation at 40.53 per cent on a year-on-year basis. marking a substantial increase of 15.92 percentage points from the 24.61 per cent recorded in April 2023.

While the government at the central and subnationals have set in motion intervention programmes to cater for poor Nigerians, lives are yet to be significantly impacted.

In the wake of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria increasing the benchmark interest rate for the second consecutive month, professor of Capital market at the Nasarawa State University, Uche Uwaleke, faulted the apex bank’s attempt to fight inflation.

He said, “Much as tightening is necessary at this time in view of elevated inflation, MPC should tighten policy incrementally and in a measured manner that optimizes the CBN’s policy toolkit. without undue reliance on the monetary policy rate.

“The CBN should recognise that the challenge currently facing the Nigerian economy is not just inflation but stagflation and, to this end, should equally have regard to growth concerns in future meetings of the MPC.”..ĊONTINUE.THE FULL R£ĄÐING.>’.

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