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  •  Mr Isaac Ighure a former Editor in Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria has called for more enlightenment for civil servants on the National Housing Fund for more workers benefit from the scheme Ighure a retired civil servant in a telephone interview with NAN on Saturday in Lagos also called for review of mortgage policies due to inflation to accommodate low income civil servants He said he retired seven years ago but had to use heavy interest commercial bank loans while in service to purchase a government bungalow in Abuja because of inadequate information He lamented that upon completion of 35 years of meritorious service to the nation he got an NHF refund of about N500 which he joked could hardly buy good quality pepper soup He said that the explanation offered for his low refund was that deductions from his NHF contributions were stopped because he became a director Later I gathered that I didn t ask them to continue deductions because Executive Director level is supposed to be either administrative or political So once you climb above director they stop deductions I didn t know about that At the end of the day what I got after 35 years was five hundred and something Naira What can N500 buy for you now he queried He said it was difficult during his service years to access Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN loans adding that many people are not even aware of what to do under the NHF Government needs to create more awareness and maybe educate or enlighten workers on the benefits of the fund It would have been okay to raise the value of monthly deductions but with the value of the salary and the worthlessness of the salary now the purchasing power is weak so if you now jerk up the deductions it is going to further weaken the purchasing power of workers Although the objective is laudable to enjoy it you have to live to enjoy the benefits Government has to think of what to do to make it easier for workers to afford their own accommodation he said He lamented the skyrocketing prices of construction materials and land which had further weakened ability of workers to build their homes unlike in the past where civil servants could build gradually He called for longer term and low interest mortgages which were used in other advanced countries but not working in Nigeria Workers are heavily disadvantaged when it comes to housing Every worker needs housing even when government builds some of these low cost housing the rich buy them up and give out on rent at exorbitant rates he said Narrating his ordeal Mr Deji Idowu a retired broadcaster from the Nigerian Television Authority NTA told NAN the NHF programme of government was shrouded in a lot of secrecy that promoted fraud Idowu said he retired from NTA at the age of 57 after 35 years in service but was told he could not get refund of his contributions until his 60th birthday He said he Joined NTA in 1983 and his contemporaries who retired at 60 got between N500 000 and N600 000 as refund for their NHF contributions after 35 long years in service He said upon turning 60 he returned to collect his refund and was stalled by bureaucracy He said he was supposed to process payment through NTA s in house mortgage institution but was given impossible conditions to make available pay slips of about 10 years and other inaccessible documents Next they said is that I should go and bring my passbook I am supposed to have a passbook with NTA I went there to finance they said they can t find my passbook he said He queried why civil servants should be ones to supply records that should be domiciled in the budget and finance ministries of the Federal Government or IPPIS He said the NHF deductions from workers salaries like the pension funds were not just sitting idle but were being invested and queried why workers did not get profit on contributions Idowu now a lecturer in the University of Lagos said that NTA staff could not benefit from the FMBN loans because they were told their poor salary structure disqualified them The former broadcaster called for more transparency and awareness on the scheme while civil servants should be paid better wages to benefit from NHF Some serving federal civil servants who spoke on conditions of anomity said they did not understand the housing policies of the government One of the civil servants said that she benefited recently from a N5 million loan under the FISH scheme operated by the office of the Head of Service We don t understand anything but whenever they bring forms for any housing loan or scheme I just key into it I have filled countless forms in the past until the last one that I got N5 million to build my own house They said the FISH Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme scheme is under the office of Head of Service she said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Civil servants task FG on adequate sensitisation, transparency on NHF
     Mr Isaac Ighure a former Editor in Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria has called for more enlightenment for civil servants on the National Housing Fund for more workers benefit from the scheme Ighure a retired civil servant in a telephone interview with NAN on Saturday in Lagos also called for review of mortgage policies due to inflation to accommodate low income civil servants He said he retired seven years ago but had to use heavy interest commercial bank loans while in service to purchase a government bungalow in Abuja because of inadequate information He lamented that upon completion of 35 years of meritorious service to the nation he got an NHF refund of about N500 which he joked could hardly buy good quality pepper soup He said that the explanation offered for his low refund was that deductions from his NHF contributions were stopped because he became a director Later I gathered that I didn t ask them to continue deductions because Executive Director level is supposed to be either administrative or political So once you climb above director they stop deductions I didn t know about that At the end of the day what I got after 35 years was five hundred and something Naira What can N500 buy for you now he queried He said it was difficult during his service years to access Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN loans adding that many people are not even aware of what to do under the NHF Government needs to create more awareness and maybe educate or enlighten workers on the benefits of the fund It would have been okay to raise the value of monthly deductions but with the value of the salary and the worthlessness of the salary now the purchasing power is weak so if you now jerk up the deductions it is going to further weaken the purchasing power of workers Although the objective is laudable to enjoy it you have to live to enjoy the benefits Government has to think of what to do to make it easier for workers to afford their own accommodation he said He lamented the skyrocketing prices of construction materials and land which had further weakened ability of workers to build their homes unlike in the past where civil servants could build gradually He called for longer term and low interest mortgages which were used in other advanced countries but not working in Nigeria Workers are heavily disadvantaged when it comes to housing Every worker needs housing even when government builds some of these low cost housing the rich buy them up and give out on rent at exorbitant rates he said Narrating his ordeal Mr Deji Idowu a retired broadcaster from the Nigerian Television Authority NTA told NAN the NHF programme of government was shrouded in a lot of secrecy that promoted fraud Idowu said he retired from NTA at the age of 57 after 35 years in service but was told he could not get refund of his contributions until his 60th birthday He said he Joined NTA in 1983 and his contemporaries who retired at 60 got between N500 000 and N600 000 as refund for their NHF contributions after 35 long years in service He said upon turning 60 he returned to collect his refund and was stalled by bureaucracy He said he was supposed to process payment through NTA s in house mortgage institution but was given impossible conditions to make available pay slips of about 10 years and other inaccessible documents Next they said is that I should go and bring my passbook I am supposed to have a passbook with NTA I went there to finance they said they can t find my passbook he said He queried why civil servants should be ones to supply records that should be domiciled in the budget and finance ministries of the Federal Government or IPPIS He said the NHF deductions from workers salaries like the pension funds were not just sitting idle but were being invested and queried why workers did not get profit on contributions Idowu now a lecturer in the University of Lagos said that NTA staff could not benefit from the FMBN loans because they were told their poor salary structure disqualified them The former broadcaster called for more transparency and awareness on the scheme while civil servants should be paid better wages to benefit from NHF Some serving federal civil servants who spoke on conditions of anomity said they did not understand the housing policies of the government One of the civil servants said that she benefited recently from a N5 million loan under the FISH scheme operated by the office of the Head of Service We don t understand anything but whenever they bring forms for any housing loan or scheme I just key into it I have filled countless forms in the past until the last one that I got N5 million to build my own house They said the FISH Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme scheme is under the office of Head of Service she said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Civil servants task FG on adequate sensitisation, transparency on NHF
    General news1 month ago

    Civil servants task FG on adequate sensitisation, transparency on NHF

    Mr Isaac Ighure, a former Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria , has called for more enlightenment for civil servants on the National Housing Fund for more workers’ benefit from the scheme.  

    Ighure, a retired civil servant, in a telephone interview with NAN on Saturday in Lagos, also called for review of mortgage policies due to inflation to accommodate low income civil servants.  

    He said he retired seven years ago but had to use heavy interest commercial bank loans while in service to purchase a government bungalow in Abuja because of inadequate information.  

    He lamented that upon completion of 35 years of meritorious service to the nation, he got an NHF refund of about N500 which he joked could hardly buy good quality pepper soup.  

    He said that the explanation offered for his low refund was that deductions from his NHF contributions were stopped because he became a director.  

    “Later I gathered that I didn’t ask them to continue deductions because Executive Director level is supposed to be either administrative or political.

    So, once you climb above director, they stop deductions, I didn’t know about that.  

    “At the end of the day, what I got after 35 years was five hundred and something Naira, What can N500 buy for you now,’’ he queried.  

    He said it was difficult during his service years to access Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) loans, adding that “many people are not even aware of what to do under the NHF’’.  

    “Government needs to create more awareness and maybe educate or enlighten workers on the benefits of the fund.  

    “It would have been okay to raise the value of monthly deductions but with the value of the salary and the worthlessness of the salary now, the purchasing power is weak, so if you now jerk up the deductions it is going to further weaken the purchasing power of workers.  

    “Although, the objective is laudable, to enjoy it you have to live to enjoy the benefits.

    Government has to think of what to do to make it easier for workers to afford their own accommodation,’’ he said.  

    He lamented the skyrocketing prices of construction materials and land which had further weakened ability of workers to build their homes unlike in the past where civil servants could build gradually.  

    He called for longer term and low interest mortgages which were used in other advanced countries but not working in Nigeria.  

    “Workers are heavily disadvantaged when it comes to housing.

    Every worker needs housing, even when government builds some of these low cost housing, the rich buy them up and give out on rent at exorbitant rates,’’ he said.  

    Narrating his ordeal, Mr Deji Idowu, a retired broadcaster from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) told NAN the NHF programme of government was shrouded in a lot of secrecy that promoted fraud.  

    Idowu said he retired from NTA at the age of 57 after 35 years in service but was told he could not get refund of his contributions until his 60th birthday.  

    He said he Joined NTA in 1983 and his contemporaries who retired at 60 got between N500,000 and N600,000 as refund for their NHF contributions after 35 long years in service.  

    He said upon turning 60, he returned to collect his refund and was stalled by bureaucracy.  

    He said he was supposed to process payment through NTA’s in house mortgage institution but was given impossible conditions to make available pay slips of about 10 years and other inaccessible documents.  

    “Next, they said is that I should go and bring my passbook.

    I am supposed to have a passbook with NTA.

    I went there to finance, they said they can’t find my passbook,’’ he said.  

    He queried why civil servants should be ones to supply records that should be domiciled in the budget and finance ministries of the Federal Government or IPPIS.  

    He said the NHF deductions from workers salaries, like the pension funds, were not just sitting idle but were being invested and queried why workers did not get profit on contributions.  

    Idowu, now a lecturer in the University of Lagos, said that NTA staff could not benefit from the FMBN loans because they were told their poor salary structure disqualified them.  

    The former broadcaster called for more transparency and awareness on the scheme while civil servants should be paid better wages to benefit from NHF.  

    Some serving federal civil servants who spoke on conditions of anomity, said they did not understand the housing policies of the government.  

    One of the civil servants said that she benefited recently from a N5 million loan under the FISH scheme operated by the office of the Head of Service.  

    “We don’t understand anything but whenever they bring forms for any housing loan or scheme I just key into it.

    I have filled countless forms in the past until the last one that I got N5 million to build my own house.  

    “They said the FISH (Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme) scheme is under the office of Head of Service,’’ she said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Financial experts say the increasing inflation rate in Nigeria has impacted negatively on the living standard of Nigerians The experts who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria said the rising inflation rate has reduced the purchasing power of individuals leading to a decline in living standards Acccording to the National Bureau of Statistics NBS Nigeria s inflation rate increased to 17 71 per cent on a year on year basis in May 2022 The NBS also said that prices of selected food items had increased in the last 12 months in its latest Food Price Watch report in the same period Prof Aminu Usman of the Kaduna State University said the rising inflation rate meant devaluation of individual income which amounted to falling purchasing power Usman a lecturer at the Department of Economics said individuals would now purchase fewer commodities with the same given amount of money This scenario implies that people s living condition are deteriorating especially for low income groups whose income is rigidly fixed while prices are skyrocketing It signifies the descent of many poor to further poverty and worsening conditions of living He said that a major contributor to the inflationary pressure was food inflation caused by rising food prices adding this is expected because the rains have set in and old stocks are finishing This is coupled also with the high cost of fertiliser and heightened insecurity which combined to discourage farmers and farming This has also caused very low projections for agric output he said Mr Ben Ekeyi a Public Financial Management Consultant said that Nigeria s inflation rate had a negative impact on the purchasing power of Nigerians in diverse ways Ekeyi said one of the impacts included reduced ability to purchase needed and required goods and services especially where there was no corresponding increase in income Others are a lower standard of living increased poverty level as Nigerians are increasingly unable to access necessary goods and services Increased school dropouts especially at primary and secondary levels More Nigerian families have become unable to sponsor their wards education thereby leading to drop out from schools He said that economists had established a link between lower purchasing power resulting from inflation and an increase in crime rate According to him where households are unable to cater for the needs of their members there is a likelihood that some will go into criminal activities Ekeyi also said low purchasing power had been linked to increased social vices like prostitution thuggery youth restiveness and suicide rates among others He said that low purchasing power had also increased urban rural migration as some Nigerians living in the cities were gradually relocating to their rural communities to due to the high cost of living in the cities According to him the low purchasing power also has the potential of leading to death When a person is unable to meet basic needs especially in the area of health care he is most likely to die he said Mr Paul Alaje a Senior Economist with SPM Professionals said with the high inflation rate it means that someone who had N100 000 this time in 2021 now has less than N85 000 this year for committing no crime It means that the value of what money can buy has reduced What is the implication People will now be able to buy less If they could buy two bags of rice before with their income now they can buy less than two bags Does it mean that hunger in the family has reduced The answer is No People are still hungry but their livelihood resources now have weaker purchasing power Alaje said this situation may put several families in jeopardy as some members may lose their jobs because of the failure of their employees to pay them due to a decline in sales So when inflation and unemployment set in you have what we call stagflation that is a situation where people s hunger poverty and deprivation is elevated or increased significantly He said the general socio economic implication was an increase in the crime rate Alaje said the average inflation rate for a nation should be between three to five per cent but unfortunately in the last seven years Nigeria s inflation rate had been in double digits A cross section of Nigerians who spoke to NAN said the increasing inflation rate had reduced their standard of living and made saving impossible Mr Isaac Ighure a pensioner said the inflation rate had reduced his standard of living adding that it was the same situation with many pensioners in the country Ighure said many families were cutting corners in a good way just to be able to eat Among pensioners and the elderly inflation is wreaking a lot of havoc we are barely managing to survive Pensioners are on their own they are suffering the government does not support pensioners in any way and there is no policy for the elderly in general How do you pay your children s fees pay rent treat medical issues etc as a pensioner Some pensioners are maintaining their graduate children who do not have jobs You see many old people dying of hypertension because of all these problems Their life span could be prolonged if the government can take the responsibility for the health of the elderly he said Mrs Tosin Ajayi a Public Servant and mother of three said the high cost of living caused by the inflation had become unbearable As a mother and a public servant it has not been easy to survive in today s economy You will not believe that 90 per cent of the family s income is used for expenses You cannot save anymore The cost of living is high and it is becoming unbearable for everyone From food items to other consumables gas electricity etc it is worrisome What I do as a mother is to tell my kids the reality on ground I tell them that it is unacceptable to waste food and to be appreciative of what your parents give you We are calling on the Nigerian government to seek out ways to reduce the inflation rate 17 7 per cent rate is unacceptable to us This is crucial to prevent crime rate and illegal activities she said Mrs Lynn Ikechukwu a housewife and mother of three said the inflation rate had made it difficult for her to plan and budget for her home It is not easy to plan and budget with the increasing inflation rate For instance between September 2021 and May 2022 the cost of diapers has gone from N6 000 Naira to N7 000 to 7 500 and now N9 500 Every time you go to the market the price of food items keeps increasing now it is almost impossible to buy tomatoes You have to forgo some food items Tell me how someone can plan in such a situation Ms Chioma Ibeh an online food vendor said the inflation rate had resulted in a decline in customers which had slowed down her business The prices of food have increased enormously For almost every food item I buy the prices have increased to as much as N2 000 Before my 2 4 litres of edikaikong soup used to go for N15 500 and N16 000 but now I sell for N18 000 to N18 500 When I tell clients the amount for a particular size bowl of soup or stew they complain and say it is too expensive But at the end of the day that is the reality of the situation in the country I wish the economy can have a balance because inflation is making my business very slow In a week I can go without having any food orders and this is bad for people like me that have this business as my only source of income how do I pay my bills Mrs Amaka Eze a market woman said the increasing inflation made it impossible for her to make profit from sales adding that things had never been this bad for her business Since I started this business of selling foodstuff I have never seen anything like this before I used to buy a carton of Titus fish for N20 000 now it is between N40 000 to N45 000 A carton of Panla used to be N6 000 now it is N12 000 I buy a dustbin basket of tomatoes for N4 000 people are no longer coming to buy food items like before because there is no money It is so bad that some decent guys even come to my shop to beg for a cup of garri to drink because they have no money to buy food to eat she said NAN recalls that the World Bank s latest Global Economic Prospects Report said the damage from COVID 19 and the war in Ukraine had intensified the slowdown in the global economy The report said this had led to a period of weak growth and increased inflation which had raised the risk of stagflation with potentially harmful consequences for middle and low income economies alike NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Financial experts attribute decline in living standards to high inflation rate
     Financial experts say the increasing inflation rate in Nigeria has impacted negatively on the living standard of Nigerians The experts who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria said the rising inflation rate has reduced the purchasing power of individuals leading to a decline in living standards Acccording to the National Bureau of Statistics NBS Nigeria s inflation rate increased to 17 71 per cent on a year on year basis in May 2022 The NBS also said that prices of selected food items had increased in the last 12 months in its latest Food Price Watch report in the same period Prof Aminu Usman of the Kaduna State University said the rising inflation rate meant devaluation of individual income which amounted to falling purchasing power Usman a lecturer at the Department of Economics said individuals would now purchase fewer commodities with the same given amount of money This scenario implies that people s living condition are deteriorating especially for low income groups whose income is rigidly fixed while prices are skyrocketing It signifies the descent of many poor to further poverty and worsening conditions of living He said that a major contributor to the inflationary pressure was food inflation caused by rising food prices adding this is expected because the rains have set in and old stocks are finishing This is coupled also with the high cost of fertiliser and heightened insecurity which combined to discourage farmers and farming This has also caused very low projections for agric output he said Mr Ben Ekeyi a Public Financial Management Consultant said that Nigeria s inflation rate had a negative impact on the purchasing power of Nigerians in diverse ways Ekeyi said one of the impacts included reduced ability to purchase needed and required goods and services especially where there was no corresponding increase in income Others are a lower standard of living increased poverty level as Nigerians are increasingly unable to access necessary goods and services Increased school dropouts especially at primary and secondary levels More Nigerian families have become unable to sponsor their wards education thereby leading to drop out from schools He said that economists had established a link between lower purchasing power resulting from inflation and an increase in crime rate According to him where households are unable to cater for the needs of their members there is a likelihood that some will go into criminal activities Ekeyi also said low purchasing power had been linked to increased social vices like prostitution thuggery youth restiveness and suicide rates among others He said that low purchasing power had also increased urban rural migration as some Nigerians living in the cities were gradually relocating to their rural communities to due to the high cost of living in the cities According to him the low purchasing power also has the potential of leading to death When a person is unable to meet basic needs especially in the area of health care he is most likely to die he said Mr Paul Alaje a Senior Economist with SPM Professionals said with the high inflation rate it means that someone who had N100 000 this time in 2021 now has less than N85 000 this year for committing no crime It means that the value of what money can buy has reduced What is the implication People will now be able to buy less If they could buy two bags of rice before with their income now they can buy less than two bags Does it mean that hunger in the family has reduced The answer is No People are still hungry but their livelihood resources now have weaker purchasing power Alaje said this situation may put several families in jeopardy as some members may lose their jobs because of the failure of their employees to pay them due to a decline in sales So when inflation and unemployment set in you have what we call stagflation that is a situation where people s hunger poverty and deprivation is elevated or increased significantly He said the general socio economic implication was an increase in the crime rate Alaje said the average inflation rate for a nation should be between three to five per cent but unfortunately in the last seven years Nigeria s inflation rate had been in double digits A cross section of Nigerians who spoke to NAN said the increasing inflation rate had reduced their standard of living and made saving impossible Mr Isaac Ighure a pensioner said the inflation rate had reduced his standard of living adding that it was the same situation with many pensioners in the country Ighure said many families were cutting corners in a good way just to be able to eat Among pensioners and the elderly inflation is wreaking a lot of havoc we are barely managing to survive Pensioners are on their own they are suffering the government does not support pensioners in any way and there is no policy for the elderly in general How do you pay your children s fees pay rent treat medical issues etc as a pensioner Some pensioners are maintaining their graduate children who do not have jobs You see many old people dying of hypertension because of all these problems Their life span could be prolonged if the government can take the responsibility for the health of the elderly he said Mrs Tosin Ajayi a Public Servant and mother of three said the high cost of living caused by the inflation had become unbearable As a mother and a public servant it has not been easy to survive in today s economy You will not believe that 90 per cent of the family s income is used for expenses You cannot save anymore The cost of living is high and it is becoming unbearable for everyone From food items to other consumables gas electricity etc it is worrisome What I do as a mother is to tell my kids the reality on ground I tell them that it is unacceptable to waste food and to be appreciative of what your parents give you We are calling on the Nigerian government to seek out ways to reduce the inflation rate 17 7 per cent rate is unacceptable to us This is crucial to prevent crime rate and illegal activities she said Mrs Lynn Ikechukwu a housewife and mother of three said the inflation rate had made it difficult for her to plan and budget for her home It is not easy to plan and budget with the increasing inflation rate For instance between September 2021 and May 2022 the cost of diapers has gone from N6 000 Naira to N7 000 to 7 500 and now N9 500 Every time you go to the market the price of food items keeps increasing now it is almost impossible to buy tomatoes You have to forgo some food items Tell me how someone can plan in such a situation Ms Chioma Ibeh an online food vendor said the inflation rate had resulted in a decline in customers which had slowed down her business The prices of food have increased enormously For almost every food item I buy the prices have increased to as much as N2 000 Before my 2 4 litres of edikaikong soup used to go for N15 500 and N16 000 but now I sell for N18 000 to N18 500 When I tell clients the amount for a particular size bowl of soup or stew they complain and say it is too expensive But at the end of the day that is the reality of the situation in the country I wish the economy can have a balance because inflation is making my business very slow In a week I can go without having any food orders and this is bad for people like me that have this business as my only source of income how do I pay my bills Mrs Amaka Eze a market woman said the increasing inflation made it impossible for her to make profit from sales adding that things had never been this bad for her business Since I started this business of selling foodstuff I have never seen anything like this before I used to buy a carton of Titus fish for N20 000 now it is between N40 000 to N45 000 A carton of Panla used to be N6 000 now it is N12 000 I buy a dustbin basket of tomatoes for N4 000 people are no longer coming to buy food items like before because there is no money It is so bad that some decent guys even come to my shop to beg for a cup of garri to drink because they have no money to buy food to eat she said NAN recalls that the World Bank s latest Global Economic Prospects Report said the damage from COVID 19 and the war in Ukraine had intensified the slowdown in the global economy The report said this had led to a period of weak growth and increased inflation which had raised the risk of stagflation with potentially harmful consequences for middle and low income economies alike NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Financial experts attribute decline in living standards to high inflation rate
    Economy3 months ago

    Financial experts attribute decline in living standards to high inflation rate

    Financial experts say the increasing inflation rate in Nigeria has impacted negatively on the living standard of Nigerians.The experts who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria , said the rising inflation rate has reduced the purchasing power of individuals leading to a decline in living standards.Acccording to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 17.71 per cent on a year-on-year basis in May 2022.The NBS also said that prices of selected food items had increased in the last 12 months in its latest Food Price Watch report in the same period.Prof. Aminu Usman, of the Kaduna State University, said the rising inflation rate meant devaluation of individual income, which amounted to falling purchasing power.Usman, a lecturer at the Department of Economics, said individuals would now purchase fewer commodities with the same given amount of money.“This scenario implies that people’s living condition are deteriorating, especially for low-income groups, whose income is rigidly fixed while prices are skyrocketing.“It signifies the descent of many poor to further poverty and worsening conditions of living.” He said that a major contributor to the inflationary pressure was food inflation caused by rising food prices, adding “this is expected because the rains have set in and old stocks are finishing.“This is coupled also with the high cost of fertiliser and heightened insecurity which combined to discourage farmers and farming. This has also caused very low projections for agric output,” he said.Mr Ben Ekeyi, a Public Financial Management Consultant, said that Nigeria’s inflation rate had a negative impact on the purchasing power of Nigerians in diverse ways.Ekeyi said one of the impacts included reduced ability to purchase needed and required goods and services, especially where there was no corresponding increase in income.“Others are a lower standard of living, increased poverty level as Nigerians are increasingly unable to access necessary goods and services.“Increased school dropouts, especially at primary and secondary levels. More Nigerian families have become unable to sponsor their wards’ education, thereby, leading to drop out from schools.”He said that economists had established a link between lower purchasing power resulting from inflation and an increase in crime rate. According to him, where households are unable to cater for the needs of their members, there is a likelihood that some will go into criminal activities.Ekeyi also said low purchasing power had been linked to increased social vices like prostitution, thuggery, youth restiveness, and suicide rates among others.He said that low purchasing power had also increased urban-rural migration, as some Nigerians living in the cities were gradually relocating to their rural communities to due to the high cost of living in the cities.According to him, the low purchasing power also has the potential of leading to death.“When a person is unable to meet basic needs, especially in the area of health care,  he is most likely to die,” he said.Mr Paul Alaje, a Senior Economist with SPM Professionals said with the high inflation rate, it means that someone who had N100,000 this time in 2021, now has less than N85,000 this year for committing no crime.“It means that the value of what money can buy has reduced. What is the implication?  People will now be able to buy less.“If they could buy two bags of rice before with their income, now they can buy less than two bags.“Does it mean that hunger in the family has reduced? The answer is No. People are still hungry but their livelihood resources now have weaker purchasing power.”Alaje said this situation may put several families in jeopardy as some members may lose their jobs because of the failure of their employees to pay them due to a decline in sales.“So, when inflation and unemployment set in, you have what we call stagflation, that is a situation where people’s hunger, poverty and deprivation is elevated or increased significantly.”He said the general socio-economic implication was an increase in the crime rate.Alaje said the average inflation rate for a nation should be between three to five per cent but unfortunately, in the last seven years Nigeria’s inflation rate had been in double digits.A cross-section of Nigerians who spoke to NAN said the increasing inflation rate had reduced their standard of living and made saving impossible.Mr Isaac Ighure, a pensioner said the inflation rate had reduced his standard of living, adding that it was the same situation with many pensioners in the country.Ighure said many families were “cutting corners ”  in a good way just to be able to eat.“Among pensioners and the elderly, inflation is wreaking a lot of havoc, we are barely managing to survive.“Pensioners are on their own, they are suffering, the government does not support pensioners in any way and there is no policy for the elderly in general.“How do you pay your children’s fees, pay rent, treat medical issues, etc, as a pensioner? Some pensioners are maintaining their graduate children who do not have jobs.“You see many old people dying of hypertension because of all these problems. Their life span could be prolonged if the government can take the responsibility for the health of the elderly,” he said.Mrs Tosin Ajayi, a Public Servant and mother of three, said the high cost of living caused by the inflation had become unbearable.“As a mother and a public servant, it has not been easy to survive in today’s economy. You will not believe that 90 per cent of the family’s income is used for expenses. You cannot save anymore.“The cost of living is high and it is becoming unbearable for everyone. From food items to other consumables, gas, electricity, etc,  it is worrisome.“What I do as a mother is to tell my kids the reality on ground. I tell them that it is unacceptable to waste food and to be appreciative of what your parents give you.“We are calling on the Nigerian government to seek out ways to reduce the inflation rate, 17.7 per cent rate is unacceptable to us. This is crucial to prevent crime rate and illegal activities”, she said.Mrs Lynn Ikechukwu, a housewife and mother of three, said the inflation rate had made it difficult for her to plan and budget for her home.“It is not easy to plan and budget with the increasing inflation rate. For instance, between September 2021 and May 2022, the cost of diapers has gone from N6,000 Naira to N7,000,  to 7,500 and now N9,500.“Every time you go to the market the price of food items keeps increasing, now it is almost impossible to buy tomatoes. You have to forgo some food items. Tell me how someone can plan in such a situation?”Ms Chioma Ibeh, an online food vendor, said the inflation rate had resulted in a decline in customers which had slowed down her business.“The prices of food have increased enormously. For almost every food item I buy, the prices have increased to as much as N2,000.“Before my 2.4 litres of edikaikong soup used to go for N15,500 and N16,000 but now I sell for N18,000 to N18,500. “When I  tell clients the amount for a particular size bowl of soup or stew they complain and say it is too expensive. But at the end of the day that is the reality of the situation in the country.” I wish the economy can have a balance because inflation is making my business very slow.“In a week, I can go without having any food orders and this is bad for people like me that have this business as my only source of income, how do I pay my bills?”Mrs Amaka Eze, a market woman, said the increasing inflation made it impossible for her to make profit from sales, adding that things had never been this bad for her business.” Since I started this business of selling foodstuff, I have never seen anything like this before. I used to buy a carton of Titus fish for N20,000,  now it is between N40,000 to N45,000.“A carton of Panla used to be N6,000 now it is N12,000. I buy a dustbin basket of tomatoes for N4,000, people are no longer coming to buy food items like before because there is no money.“It is so bad that some decent guys even come to my shop to beg for a cup of garri to drink because they have no money to buy food to eat,” she said.NAN recalls that the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects Report said the damage from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine had intensified the slowdown in the global economy.The report said this had led to a period of weak growth and increased inflation, which had raised the risk of stagflation, with potentially harmful consequences for middle- and low-income economies alike.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN