‘Coping in Nigeria has defied logic, reason’ Nigerians speak on how they would cope if petrol price goes further up, naira falls to N1,000/$

There were speculations last week that in the coming weeks, the price of petrol may further go up. Worse still, the war between the naira with the dollar is getting scarier. TEMILOLUWA AKINOLA, OLUWADARASIMI FAJOBI, and AYOMIPO AKANO asked some Nigerians how they are coping in these biting times.

Funmilola Awolola (school principal)

With what is happening in the country in the past three months, we should imagine the unimaginable. Coping in Nigeria has defied logic and reason. It is now a function of divinity. Too much thinking could lead to depression. I purchase a minimum of N2,000 petrol per day. Our school bus fees have moved from N13,500 to N21,000 per term. A further increase in the price of petrol and a fall in the value of the naira relative to the dollar would make life more difficult. I would have to resort to boarding bikes — which is highly uncomfortable and risky. It would result in a drop in enrollment because parents may opt for closer schools despite their desire for quality education.


Michael Oluwaseun (student, trader)

Since the petrol price skyrocketed from the normal price to the current one, we have been adjusting the prices of our products without reducing their quality. We — business people — have not been happy. Living in a country where you do not know what your leaders are going to do next is more alarming than a hike in petrol price. And, for the naira to dollar rate, I would advise us to keep following the trend as we have always been doing from day one.


Isioma Chidi (event planner)

The recent increase in the price of petrol made us adjust our selling prices to accommodate the increase in the cost of production. We had to reduce our profit margin because if we transfer the full production cost to our clients and customers, we would end up losing them. A further increase in the price of petrol and an increase in the dollar to N1,000/$ would require a further adjustment. We would need to let some staff go or devise a way they could work from home with a pay cut. We would also need to devise a means of sourcing raw materials locally so that we could manage the cost of production.


Ambali Adekola (trader)

Naira is now N840/$ and petrol is officially N580. If the dollar rises again, petrol could rise and it would affect all businesses. Everything will go up — transportation, food, and the like. Feeding well is now a problem. Things are expensive. Talking of any increment in petrol would be another problem for Nigerians. We are trying to cope with the N580/litre price of petrol. It would not be nice if the price goes up again or the naira falls to N1,000/$. Nigerians are lamenting. There might be a crisis if the naira falls to N1,000/$ because it would kill many businesses.


Bukola Biyibi (caterier)

Coping is now difficult with the situation in the country. Patronage has become a huge problem because people hardly organise parties, unlike in the past. With the naira falling to N1,000/$ it is not going to be easy. We are struggling to survive. I do not know what else to do to make money because, as it is now, we do not know what could happen tomorrow. If things get worse, it is going to be very difficult to copy, and only God knows what would happen to us. I pray God would intervene and cause things to be normal or at least help the masses to survive in this crucial period.


Anne Oyegoke (businesswoman)

Well if the price of petrol goes higher, it would affect my business. Instead of going every week to buy things in the market, I would have to reduce my cost of movement so that, at least, my business would not close. I prefer using public transport for my business, because, if I were to resort to using private transport, it would cost me more. On the other hand, with the way things are now, the cost of public transport would be affected and the money I spend there would also affect my business. I pray the petrol price should not go up again.


Ajibade Hammed (trader)

Before the dollar increased to N840, the prices of goods have already increased. So, now that it is now N840, we are just managing. Sales have dropped. People do not buy things like before. If people do not go to the market, how do we sell? If petrol price should go up again and the naira falls to N1,000/$, it would affect all businesses. Before I buy N2,000 amount petrol for my car, now I spend about N7,000 — and it is not like my business is doing well like before.


Bunmi Oke-Akinola (baker)

If the price of petrol increases to N1,000, everybody — both the rich and the poor — would suffer the impact. Increment would occur in the cost of transportation, food stuffs and other essential services including school fees, without a corresponding salary increase. Organisations may be forced to retrench or reduce staff. Many small businesses would fold up. The market woman that sells pepper would increase the price of her goods. This scenario could be imagined happening to others in similar businesses. In the United Kingdom, fuel sells for £1.50 or £1.55. But it should not get to that stage in Nigeria because everyone would feel the pinch.


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