Standard of Living: The boom of the doom
By Bala Ibrahim
By definition, standard of living generally deals with the kind of wealth, comfort, material goods, and the availability of essentials or the necessities of life. Depending on class and place of residence, the absence or availability of these variables, determine the concept of what is referred to as the quality of life.
Since 2015, when he took over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria, some disgruntled Nigerians have been putting the blame of high cost of living on President Muhammadu Buhari, some even saying the cost of feeding has gone up by over 100 per cent, since he assumed office. Hardly a day passed, without the coming of some teasing or contemptuous language labelled at Buhari, as the architect of Nigeria’s socio economic woos.
Generally, I refused coming to the rescue of the President, because I believe most of those behind the mockery, are largely lacking in knowledge or information of what traveling around the world fosters. There is an adage in Hausa that says, Na zaune bai ga gari ba, whose ambition is to say, traveling is the best on-site learning a person can get.
With what is happening all over the world today, critics of the Buhari economic policies, alongside those accusing him of allowing only Nigeria to fall victim of many woos, need to embrace the culture of travelling, or opening their brains to the realities of life. The world is facing a boom in doom and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
Starting from last week, a gale of protest is sweeping across Europe, with the potential of bringing public life and travel to a near-halt. More than 70,000 Belgian workers marched through Brussels on Monday, demanding government action to tackle sharply rising living costs.
According to reports, protesters carried flags and banners reading “More respect, higher wages” and “End excise duty”, while some set off flares, demanding the government do more, as employers needed to improve pay and working conditions.
This is Belgium, whose economic freedom score is 69.6, making its economy the 37th freest in the 2022 Index. Belgium is ranked 24th among 45 countries in the Europe region, and it’s overall score is above the regional and world averages. If things are this bad in Belgium, what more of Nigeria, as the world faces a boom in the doom?
London, the capital city of the United Kingdom and the U.K.’s largest metropolis is on the verge of paralysis, because of the strangulation of it’s economic, transportation, and cultural activities, occasioned by the high cost of living. Train or what they call tube strike, part of the biggest rail strike in 30 years, is creating a major disruption for the London duellers. About 10,000 London Underground staff joined in the strike, claiming proposals by bosses will cut jobs, change working agreements and pensions.
Few days ago, thousands of people gathered in the city, to protest against the government’s lack of action in tackling the cost of living crisis. Protesters marched from Portland Place to Parliament Square for a rally, with demonstrators carrying banners reading, “cut war not welfare” and “end fuel poverty now”.
The cost of living in the UK has skyrocketed, pushing people to physical confrontation with poverty. From the Facebook wall of Aisha Alubankudi, a Nigerian resident in London, I have the following post: “Walahi talahi, I had never experienced such inflation in England. £100 petrol a week. I’m looking for a second job. a whole goat is £200 from £140. a box of tilapia is £25 from £15″.
If things are this bad in Britain, the former colonial master of Nigeria, what more of Nigeria, as the world faces a boom in the doom?
Information this morning said petrol is selling in the UK at nearly £2 to a litre. At the exchange rate of N770 to the pound, even with my poor knowledge of maths, it translates to N1,540 per the same litre of petrol in Nigeria. That is Britain, and not Nigeria, that is selling same, officially at N165 per litre. Indeed the world is facing a boom in doom, and Nigeria can not be an exception.
In America, Economists have warned that the US is on the verge of a ‘cost of living’ crisis due to rapid inflation. Food prices increased by 9.4% on average– their largest 12-month rise in 40 years. Workers across California are protesting staff shortages and what they say are unsafe labour conditions and wages inadequate to cover the skyrocketing cost of living.
Yes, the world is facing a boom in doom, and Nigeria can not be an exception.
A clip is circulating in the social media, of a lady apperantly in lamentation, thus: “If your husband can afford to fill 12.5kg gas, fuel the car and generator. Buys foreign rice, crates of eggs, sardines, beans, milk and milo. And subscribes for DSTV or GO TV. Pays the children’s school fees join. My sister, you are married to a billionaire. Please, appreciate them always. It’s not easy at all”.
Critics of the Buhari regime think their plight is peculiarly caused by the President’s nonchalant attitude, as the cynics sometimes mock him sitting in a relaxed and calm mood, with a toothpick to his mouth, because by their understanding, he does not care or worry about the situation.
This is unrighteous, and a wicked misinterpretation of the boom in the doom around the world.
Many factors are responsible for the doom, including the Russia/Ukraine crisis, but PMB is presently in Rwanda, attending the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The focus of the meeting is on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, as well as economic opportunities and sustainable development. And of course the principal aim is, how best Nigeria can navigate out of the global boom in the economic doom.
Standard of Living: The boom of the doom