All over Nigeria, people are raising their voices, distressed and worried about the relentless rise in inflation and how food prices are soaring to new heights. As the cost of living leaps to unprecedented levels, many Nigerians are struggling to afford the basics, pushing some to consider leaving the country in pursuit of a better life, a move often referred to by the local term "japa."
Families are particularly feeling the pinch with petrol prices nearly hitting a steep 600 Naira per liter, adding to the burden of daily expenses.
In markets across Nigeria, the narrative is heartbreakingly uniform. Staple foods such as rice, beans, vegetable oil, and yams—the essentials of Nigerian cuisine—now cost double, sometimes triple, their prices from just a few years back. For countless Nigerians, what used to be a straightforward grocery run has turned into a luxury, constraining their access to a balanced diet and, at times, diminishing the quantity of food on their tables each day.
The root of Nigeria's economic woes is complex. The decline of the Naira, unchecked inflation, and internal security issues disrupting farming, and thus food production, have all played a part in driving up food prices.
Despite the rising cost of living, the minimum wage remains painfully low, pushing many families into financial hardship.
As the gap between what people earn and what they need to spend widens, the temptation to move abroad in search of better prospects becomes more appealing. The term "japa," which means to flee or escape in Yoruba, has come to symbolize the desire of many Nigerians to find a more promising future elsewhere.
At the grassroots level, communities are coming together, backed by civil society groups, to promote backyard farming as a way to enhance food security within families.
While some see migration as the answer, others are determined to stay and fight for change in Nigeria. The talk of 'economic diversification' and 'agricultural resurgence' in policy circles offers a glimmer of hope to millions that governance will improve, leading to more sustainable living costs.
The focus is now on tapping into the entrepreneurial energy of Nigerians and the country's rich agricultural resources as vital keys to alleviate economic pressures and lead the way towards lasting growth and prosperity.
In these challenging times, the resilience and creativity of the Nigerian people stand out, proving that the spirit of the nation remains robust, driving towards fairness and prosperity despite the mounting obstacles.