Inflation and the Nigerian Reality

I joined Risevest in January 2021, and the word “inflation” has not left my mouth ever since. We’ve painted a picture of what inflation looks like. From the rise in the price of Garri in the market, to how expensive it is to cook Jollof rice in Nigeria today. But nothing prepared me for how expensive things are at the market, especially Foodstuff.  

“99% of all statistics only tell 49% of the story” so when we tell you that Nigeria’s inflation rate in March is 18.17%. You get the idea that things are bad, but you don’t get the picture of how things are really really bad. 

Last week Wednesday I took a long drive to the famous Oke-Arin market in Lagos island. There I got my first-hand experience on what inflation means for the average Nigerian.

Oke-Arin market 

Inflation to economists means the general rise in the price level in an economy over a period of time. We all know this definition from Secondary school economics but I got my own real definition in this market. 

While pricing Rice, I asked the woman selling rice to tell her daughter to bring a carton of Indomie Onion flavoured noodles, from the next shop. In the process of calculating she asked her daughter “how much be Indomie”? The daughter replied ₦3,000. The Rice woman screamed!!! 3,000 what? Oga na so you they buy am? I looked at her and gave her the if you ask me, na who I go ask look. 

During my stay at the University of Lagos. Indomie was my  “Owu food”, ₦100was sufficient to buy two 70g sachets of noodles and one egg. Today, that same 70g noodles retails for ₦70 and Egg sells for ₦60. What this means is that for the average Unilag student, they’d need ₦200, to buy the same thing I used to pay ₦100 for in 2015. 

My friend asked me to get the price of a carton of Olmeca tequila while I was at the market. It was ₦100,000. He returned a few days later to buy it, and it had gone from ₦100,000 to ₦110,000. In a few days, he had lost his purchasing power. At work, we call this; “Same money, Only poorer.” 

Oke-Ari

I bought my Generator in February 2018 for ₦62,500, it has been pretty solid since then.  A few weeks ago I noticed it was misbehaving and thought yeah, might be time to get a new one. I called the guy I bought this from, to tell me how much the same Gen is going to cost me today. He replied: “Oga he done cost o, Market no be like before o, that your Generator now na ₦125,000 last o”. Well, I have now decided I have the best Generator in the world and come rain or shine, we go gather rock am.

Present Reality

What we know so far is that Nigeria’s inflation rate is at 18.17% in March from 17.33% in February 2021. It’s the highest it’s climbed since January 2017, when it stood at 18.72%. We know that Nigerians pay more for fewer goods and services. 

Holding the naira or investing in Naira is not the best fit for your money. And that is why we are here to help you beat inflation. I talked to Jennifer about what she wished she knew before starting her investment journey, she replied with.  

“I guess I would have loved to have started investments in dollar-denominated currencies at the start, I removed my money from naira instruments immediately I noticed that my returns were reducing”. 

If there’s anything holding money in Naira has taught me… it is that the value of the Naira keeps depreciating.

Eliud Kipchoge is regarded as the greatest marathon runner of all time. In 2019 he secured what is now known as his moon-landing moment, by breaking the 2 hours barrier.  

When asked how he started- He said he was inspired by a sign that says the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago, the second-best time is today. In the same vein, I’m asking you to start taking charge of your finances today.

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