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Cry over the cost of commodities in Nigeria by Bala Ibrahim

Cost of living is the amount of money required to cover necessary expenses to maintain a certain lifestyle. Necessary expenses can include housing, food, taxes, health care, clothing, education, entertainment and transportation.

Cost of living is linked to income and is used to compare the livability of different cities. Because prices vary from one city to the next, cost of living helps you determine how affordable it is to live in a specific city or region.

Above is the dictionary definition of the cost of living. But that is not the definition accepted by some people, especially critics of the Buhari administration. To them, cost of living directly means the type of handout given to the public by the government, in this regard, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is not only naïve, for the show of a lack of wisdom and understanding, but also artless, for failing to perceive the proposition of proper judgement.

Cost of living is not calculated on the basis of your likes or dislikes for leaders. No, it is calculated by comparing the prices of a range of goods and services on which consumers spend their money, and it always has a bearing with production, the biggest dislike of the lazy. Yes, production is the biggest enemy of the anti-Buharists. They want easy money, but they don’t want to work for it.

Ask them what they were doing few years back when the money was flowing like fluid, they may not come up with a legitimate answer, and the reason is simple- they were living on the handouts coming from the slush funds of the corrupt.

With the coming of Buhari, that channel was suffocated, the oxygen of corruption was cut off, and everyone was told to shift to a realistic lifestyle that can be sustained. And the term BUHARINOMICS was forcefully and cynically inserted into our lexicon.

Although some questions are being asked about the sincerity of purpose, vis a vis the prudential guidelines used in the disbursement of the agricultural loans by this government, including the issue of circumspection, but the ambition of PMB is to move people to the farm, in order for Nigerians to appreciate the importance of agriculture, which could help the country to generate employment, eat what it grows, and grow what it eats.

Those who believe in the policy, and were serious about the principle, not only took the loan, but also took advantage of the food importation stoppage, by embracing technology.

Today, some people like Hon.Faruk Adamu Aliyu Birnin Kudu, are leaving the offices to go back to the farm without regret, because they are proud employers of labor, luxuriously fighting laziness.

Every time I go on the social media to read the benefits of the free entrepreneurial development series from Mallam Musbahu El-Yakub, I always thank God for giving us the gift of people with such exceptional talents, and the believe and will to conquer laziness. But we don’t exploit them. We only seat in one place an expect the opportunities to come begging. If they don’t, we blame it on Buhari.

It’s not possible. We must be brave enough to change our mindsets and attitudes, from the lazy posture to the entrepreneurial spirit posture, by actively seeking out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change.

Only recently, I got involved in the celebration of a friend, Alhaji Usman Yahaya Kansila, the chairman and Chief executive of UYK. Yahaya Kansila has just been honored with a doctorate degree in Accountancy, by the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state. The story of the young man is a proud tale worth telling for time.

Through determination, with the change of mindset, Usman Yahaya dropped salaried job and embraced critical questioning of self, by using the momentum of innovation, to provide services that are continuously improving his life and the lives of others around him. Within few years, Alhaji Usman, UYK, has turned from an employee to an employer of a multimillion naira labor force. Success through sheer determination.

Laziness, which sometimes makes us blame Buhari for our woes, push some people to see the European countries as the most sought-after heaven or destination. Immigrants from Nigeria think the continent offers opportunities and standard of living like nowhere else. But in truth, it’s a façade. Bob Marley said, “Not all that glitters is gold”.

Some Nigerians put so much efforts into moving there that they soon discover it’s a different world entirely from the one they were told. Some of these immigrants pass through Tunisia and Egypt on their way to Europe. Many die in transit, leaving behind their loved ones with trauma at home.

If only we know how cheap the cost of living is in Nigeria, we would not be casting aspersions on our leaders. Nigeria may not offer much in the way of opportunities and amenities that Europe offers, but it offers a cheap cost of living.

Of the 10 countries in the world with a low cost of living, two are in Africa, while all 10 are developing countries. And Nigeria is no five. Yes, no five.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and its second wealthiest, is the 5th least expensive country to live in Africa. Apart from the traditional playground for the rich in parts of Lagos and Abuja, the rest of the country has a relatively low cost of living. But because of laziness and the penchant to blame our leaders unnecessarily, we always fail to appreciate this endowment.

Someone wrote and I quote,

“A lot of people always make funny excuses for their laziness, and their poor financial status to the extent they are always comparing yesterday with today (as if their yesterday was any better).

There was a time in Nigeria when a 504 Peugeot Saloon car sold for ₦4,500. How many Nigerians afforded it then?

There was a time in this country when ‘Ladies’ motorbike sold for ₦450. How many men brought it for their spouses?

There was a time when the Naira exchange was higher than the Dollar, and UK was visa free, how many Nigerians afforded the air ticket then?

In the 70s, cement sold for ₦200 to a bag, yet there were 90 times more mud houses than there were cement houses. What was the problem then?

There was a time when a plot of land in Lagos mainland was allocated at N250. How many ‘common’ men afforded it?

Do you want to tell me that people never complained of hunger and suffering when a cup of gari was sold for N1?

Were there no armed robbers, area boys and pickpockets during the so-called “peaceful” times?

Challenges abound everywhere and every generation must have what to deal with. The way and manner with which a generation tackles its challenges determines how far such a generation could easily attain its goals.

All these constant comparison between our time and the times of Tafawa Balewa constitutes sheer laziness and lack of innovative ideas.

Nigeria’s dire need for restructuring: The urgency of now (1) by Mike Ozekhome

For every misfortune, there is an opportunity. Find your way through the path and navigate through.

For you to ride on smooth roads, you must be prepared to earn your sweat through hard labour and rough paths. Stop complaining and press the throttle harder so as to arrive at your destination in good time.There is no food for a lazy man”.

In conclusion, I make reference to an adage in my native Hausa that says, “Laifi tudu ne”. Meaning, misdeed is a hill. You climb on yours, to see the misdemeanor of the other.

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