Nigerians battle tough times, devise survival strategies


June 18,2023.

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The removal of fuel subsidy was the last thing many Nigerians anticipated to hear during President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural speech on May 29, 2023. It was an unpleasant awakening.

Prior to the announcement, petrol stations throughout the country had purposefully hoarded their products for obvious reasons. Following the announcement, fuel prices increased immediately by 150 to 200 percent across the country. Many citizens are enraged, and it was expected.

However, this is not the first time the Federal government is taking a shot at this issue, even, as it is laced with tissues of controversy. The Goodluck Jonathan administration had attempted to remove the fuel subsidy but perhaps lacked the courage and political will power to do it. In the past, Nigeria’s monthly fuel subsidy payments were within the region of a whooping N400bn. But, finally this monster has been done away with.

The general consensus, however, is that subsidy removal will help end the syphoning, smuggling, and stealing of Nigeria’s Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to other countries in the African continent. With this continuous theft and illicit trade along the borders, the country bleeds, economically, leaving the entire citizenry in utter impoverishment.

While Nigerians are struggling to exactly understand what their economic tide will swing to, the Federal government emphasises that its present action in removing the subsidy will impact positively on the lives of the people. The resources which would have enriched a few people will be ploughed back into infrastructural projects, public healthcare, funding of the educational sector and other public services.

Stakeholders, public analysts, as well as the government are of the view that while this policy may be difficult, initially, Nigerian economy will improve as the petroleum sector which had hitherto been under serious monopoly will be free from the claws of the shylocks. Products will become readily available.

However, people are quick to argue that aside from fuel theft and subsidy cabal, the mountainous overhead and heavy burden of governance are also bleeding tissues of the economy. Amid all economic permutations, the fate of the common man still hangs in the balance.

Sadly enough, the generality of Nigerians are not being carried along in the whole process. There are divided opinions for obvious reasons. While those who believe in the policy are ready to exercise patience and see how the development turns out, others are not sure of government intentions and purposes.

Tough Times, New Frontiers

These are certainly tough times for the entire citizenry. Prices of foodstuff, services, toiletries are going out of the hands of the ordinary Nigerian. Cost of living has hit the rooftop. Many people can’t afford three square meals anymore. Food items that were the staples before and some basic needs are now categorised as luxuries. Public transportation has become so expensive.

The country has recorded the highest inflation rates. While these harsh economic realities will, no doubt, become part of people’s lives, the key words on the lips of many Nigerians are survival and adaptation.

Their elasticity and resilience have further been stretched. These challenging times are reenactments of the 2020 COVID-19 period. The ‘New Normal’ is adjustment. What you cannot afford, you must have to let go.

All over the nation, people are adjusting to a new lifestyle. Lagos residents are quick to cut down the excesses of luxury movements from one point to the other. Priority is now given to only things that are very important. You can only go to places that are really important, too. People trek long distances to cut down the expenses of commuting to and from work and from different destinations every day, while others have resorted to working from home having realised that it is more productive to work from home.

Alternative modes of transportation have become a common sight on the roads as people ride bicycles, motorcycles and tricycles. It is a trend now for car owners to manage to drive their vehicles to a safe neighbourhood, park the car and commute in public transport to their place of work or business.(


Peters Anene, News Editor
Peters Anene, News Editor
Anene Peters is the news editor for Naija247news Media Group. He started his journalism career as an intern on tech and science. He's a graduate of Abia State University with a major in Computer Science and Communications. You can contact him for press events on 0903 927 6505 Email:

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