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Economic hardship forces Nigerians to cut back, even on essentials

Reporter: Kelechi Emekalam 丨 CCTV.com

12-26-2016 00:33 BJT

In Nigeria, rising inflation and dwindling salaries is dampening the festive mood for many. The country is struggling to lift itself out of the worst recession in decades and many people don't have enough money to afford even essential goods and services during the festive season.

Christmas celebration is usually big here - perhaps one of the biggest holidays in Nigeria - and at times like this, many troop to the market to make their purchases for the celebration.

One of the fast moving goods during this season is Christmas decors - and for over 15 years Ngozi has been earning big money selling them.

The investment worth 2 million Naira has grown over the years raking in nearly 10 times her initial investment.

But the situation is different now - Nigeria's recession hit economy is taking toll on her sales.

"Every businessman or every business woman would agree with me that this is not the best period because like I said before, the purchasing power of people has really dropped and definitely, it has affected business but like I said, I thank God that I have maintained my customers, I am not making as much as Iwould have made but I still give the glory to God because I still sell," Businesswoman Ngozi Egwuekwe said.

Nigeria's economy is heavily import dependent yet is facing a severe dollar scarcity to import commodities.
Latest official statistics show, inflation rate has hit 18.48 percent and consumers are struggling to cope with the steep rice in prices.

"Things are very expensive, even Christmas clothes. To buy shoes for your kids, 6,000 Naira, 10,000 Naira. But last year, you can buy at the rate of 2,500 Naira, 3,500 Naira," A Nigerian resident said.

"Like today, I heard a bag of rice is 19,000 Naira, so you can see, once you are approaching the Christmas here, I wonder how people can be able to meet up with the high price"

70 percent of Nigeria's earnings come from oil. But more than half of that has been wiped off due to the fall in Crude oil prices and cut in production as a result of pipeline vandalism.

The impact of an economy in recession is becoming more pronounced, Many more here just can't afford things they used to buy easily, in some place like Lagos, the state government has had to intervene by subsidizing essential commodities like rice during this festive season, others are subsidizing public transport to ease things for the average Nigerian during the festive season.

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