By Abdullahi Yusuf
There is a saying that: “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going.” In our lives today, the going had already gotten tough, and what we now experience as citizens, is the tough going, and in full blast too.
I also remember an adage that trended in my youth days: “Ci Da Kai Ba Kokari Ba,” meaning: “It Takes Nothing To Feed Oneself,” or “It Takes Little Or No Effort To Feed Oneself.”
Another saying that was in use in those good old days was: “Naira Dubu Abar Shan Iska,” meaning that: “With N1000 You Can Go Places.”
But that was then. Times have changed; the good old days are over. Nowadays, people must work extra hard to feed themselves. And in many cases, they labour virtually in vain because their efforts produce discouraging results that can hardly make them keep body and soul together.
Examples of these frustrating results are poor workers’ remunerations and poor business returns occasioned by the prevailing economic realities in the country.
In these ensuing economic realities which include hyperinflation largely caused by the depreciating value of the Naira and high prices of fuel, the sum of N1000 which used to be regarded and used as big money during the period of economic boom, has hugely lost its value now.
With N1000 now, you can go to few or no places, as one can only use it to pay for a reasonably good breakfast or lunch; I am not sure about dinner which is probably supposed to be richer in terms of ingredients and taste.
Similarly, the N1000 of today can not buy you a half gallon of petrol, as the commodity now costs between N2500 and N3000 per gallon, depending on where you purchase it – filling station or the roadsides.
Life is becoming more and more unbearable these days with the citizens finding it increasingly difficult to eat, as many, if not most of them, go about hungry as they toil for daily means of livelihood.
I know of many people who used to live a good life and even helped others with foodstuff, drugs and cash but have now swallowed their pride and descended into begging because they have been pauperised by the current economic downturn in the country.
I also know of many who have abandoned their families and disappeared into thin air because of their inability to cater for them, courtesy of the debilitating economic situation.
President Bola Tinubu whose economic policies that include the removal of subsidy on fuel escalated the hardships, has at various occasions appealed to Nigerians to bear with his administration as it is taking measures to alleviate them.
“Our economy is going through a tough patch and you are being hurt by it. The cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it. Households and businesses struggle.
“Things seem anxious and uncertain. I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there are not. If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help not to hurt the people and the nation that I love.
“What I can offer in the immediate is to reduce the burden our current economic situation has imposed on all of us, most especially on businesses, the working class and the most vulnerable among us.
“Already, the Federal Government is working closely with states and local governments to implement interventions that will cushion the pains of our people across socio-economic brackets,” Tinubu said in his recent radio and television broadcast to the nation.
In the address,the President was unambiguous and humble in acknowledging the excruciating hardships Nigerians are going through. We should all give him the benefit of the doubt and pray that he succeeds in turning things around. I am done.