By Nifemi Owolabi
For most Nigerians, these are not the best of times. Why? The economy! Its painfully excruciating bites spare no one. Parents moan being unable to adequately feed their children amidst skyrocketing food prices, besides the struggles to pay school fees. And should the wards in school be beyond two, and then the ‘headache’ becomes more soaring?
How come Nigerians find themselves in this rough terrain? All hail subsidy removal! Last year, President Bola Tinubu, during his inauguration, announced the removal of fuel subsidies on the grounds that it was injurious to the Nigerian economy and only beneficial to some cabals.
Previous administrations had avoided the contentious issue of subsidy removal.
The effect of its removal has continued to sweep through the nation like a tsunami, hitting hard at the economic and social life of Nigerians, who were still reeling from the battery of cashless policy imposed on the nation by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Today, a bag of rice sells at about N60,000, beans at N1200 per congo, and gari N800; even mineral drinks, which people take as a leisure now, sell for N300. So, the question on every lip is ‘Whither are we heading?’
In light of the current situation, Nifemi Owolabi, an intern with Radio Nigeria Ibadan, interacted with undergraduates of some Nigerian universities to find out how they have been coping with the situation.
Owonifari Kolawole, a student of the Federal University of Technology Akure describes the situation as quite challenging. In the words of Awoyemi Deborah from the Federal University of Health Science, Ila Orangun, Osun State, “Every damn thing rises every day, and you never have a choice to get them, especially when it’s being asked for in school. With the things happening all around you also have to be considerate because you can always see what is happening at home and at large.”
Ogunjemilua Timothy from Federal University, Oye Ekiti letting a breath, Hmmmm…., says “Well to be honest things have not been so easy but we thank God for his grace… We have been able to adapt to all the changes in the economy…we have turned it into opportunities….”
For Babatunde Samson from Ekiti State University, the present situation is dreary; he says “Being a student in the current Nigeria’s economy has some quality of suicide mission considering the 100 per cent increase in tuition fee, as if there’s no advocate…”