The recent surge in the cost of goods and services has plunged Nigerian families into a state of financial strain, forcing them to adopt unconventional cost-cutting measures to cope with the escalating hardship. Among the most alarming spikes is the price of rice, a staple consumed by many households, which has skyrocketed to an astonishing N77,000 per bag.
This dramatic increase in prices comes amidst a backdrop of economic challenges, with Nigeria’s inflation rate reaching a 27-year high according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Headline inflation surged to 28.9 per cent in December, marking a notable 0.72 percent increase from the previous month’s rate.
Government policies, including the removal of petrol subsidies and the depreciation of the naira in the foreign exchange market, have exacerbated the already dire situation. Food vendors in major cities across the country have voiced their concerns, citing a nearly 200 per cent rise in the cost of a bag of rice.
Previously, long grain rice was priced between N45,000 and N50,000 in November, but now exceeds N70,000, placing immense strain on consumers’ budgets. The unprecedented surge in commodity prices has sparked widespread hardship, prompting residents in major cities like Kano, Niger, Rivers, and Osun to take to the streets in protest.
In Niger State, residents of Suleja staged protests to express their dissatisfaction with the exorbitant cost of living, following similar demonstrations in Minna, the state capital. Despite the Federal Government’s distribution of grains and other relief items to mitigate the economic crisis, citizens continue to grapple with soaring commodity prices.
Organised Labour has vowed to embark on industrial action to voice their discontent with the prevailing economic hardships. As Nigerian families navigate through these challenging times, the relentless surge in rice prices serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for effective measures to alleviate the burden on the populace.