COPING IN NIGERIA RISING INFLATION AND NAIRA DEPRECIATION
By Psalms Ohwojite
It is true that no nation on earth is immune to the consequences of economic recession or inflation.
Harsh economic reality dawns on almost every one expecially with the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating economic effects.
The situation in Nigeria has been compounded with rising Infation and depreciation of the naira causing poverty and unemployment to rise.
Inspite of the reported drop in inflation figure in the past seven months according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics,NBS, the past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria according to the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Little wonder therefore, that Nigerians sigh and groan over skyrocketing prices of goods and services while managing static and devalued income. A usual monthly budget which affords some savings, now run into deficit and dept.
Nevertheless, Nigerians have learnt to live in challenging times and on less income . The survival mechanism has been a necessity since the fall of the good 1980s.
Some escapes from the current economic reality have been wise investment, diversification in ones streams of income, prudent budget and stringent expenditure, amongst others.
For example, there are real assets and investments which have been historically viewed as hedges or protection against inflation. These are investment in lands, commodities such as gold, real estates, bonds and stocks which only appreciate in value no matter the fall of the currency.These all operate under one principle: the rate of return on assets match the rate of inflation and protect the real value of wealth.
Furthermore, it is now a reminder, that people need to double their streams of income in building multiple businesses, developing relevant skills and rendering network of services.
Such alternate means of income may be lowly but filling the mind with what others may think will hardly put bread on the table or save a person the extra income to survive in any situation.
As it has been, payslip may be static, employment may be cut short or as it is, inflation could weakens purchasing power; but alternate streams of income can withstand any financial turmoil or eventuality.
Again, prudent budget and spending according to budget has protected many from running into unnecessary dept in these difficult times.
A wise person will not allow expenses to get bigger than what his or her income can actually support.
While some individuals are used to pushing cartloads of mostly nonessential goods out of the supermarket and never thinking of having a budget because money seemed to be there for whatever they fancied, advance planning will ensure that funds available are spent on essential needs and savings including emergency funds.
Having an emergency fund and extra savings no matter how small will shield a person from having to rely on credit, loans or other types of high-interest debt.
Moreso, this is the time family need to openly communicate and cut down on costly food items, expensive vacations, and unnecessary purchases of luxuries.
Other strategies to coping with the harsh economic reality has been good negotiations of price offers, asking for discounts, reduction in daily expenses and avoiding the temptations of wanting the things that neighbors flaunt.
For many people, inflation or hard times could mean managing or overstretching a static payslip, but for those who have learnt and mastered the art of managing the signs of the times, inflation or recession could mean continued profit as they add to their retirement portfolio.
From reducing expenses to rethinking investments, there are proven ways to protect oneself from inflation and survive in any harsh economic condition.
( Psalms Ohwojite is a researcher and media practitioner;
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