Families turning to beggars in Abuja, other parts of Nigeria

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are lamenting the increasing cost of living, crippling businesses and turning families to beggars, Daily Sun reports.

Business owners expressed worries of high costs of commodities, adding that monies made were spent on increased bills. Others said after selling old stocks, they found it extremely difficult to re-stock as “prices of materials are increasingly every minute no longer days.”

Segun Clem, a tricycle rider in Kubwa said: “Since I was born I have never seen or heard of this kind of hardship. I wish death is just what you will just close your eyes and you will transit.

“If one is alive and he cannot feed himself, just myself oh! Then what is the essence of living? I am really tired. The worst of it is that you cannot even see someone to help you now.

“Since two weeks now my mother called from the village that I should find something for her. I have not been able because I don’t have savings. At times, my tricycle will develop issues on the road. I will start making calls looking for who, to borrow from and I work everyday.

“The people in authority said Nigeria would soon be great. That the economy is going through restructuring and reforms, is it dead bodies that would enjoy it? I am still single, how are families of four and five coping? Government needs to wake up before it is too late.

“The last time I wanted to stock my kitchen, I was not able to buy anything reasonable. A bag of sachet of water is N1,200 against N500 last December. A “mudu” of big bull rice is N2,500 against N1600.

“Or is it noodles now N13,000 plus? I was frustrated wondering what I bought with the money I went to the market with. Is it protein? That is a no go area because you wont get any type with less than N1,000. We are at the crossroads.”

A dry cleaner at Utako Market, Samuel Amara: “I have stopped using generator due to the cost of fuel. But for two days we did not have light. A customer insisted I must use generator. Could you believe that N1,000 fuel was not able to iron clothes of N1,600?

“Where is the money for the detergent and my labour? The detergent of N500 to N600 now sold for N,1200. Tablet soap that we used to buy for N300 is now N600. So what are we working for? In my own case, patronage has reduced drastically because people don’t have money.”

Madam Lilian Dan, a housewife in Wuse said: “The last time I went to Wuse Market to shop, a woman was crying uncontrollable and they were comforting her.

“I thought she lost someone only to hear someone came and bought all her noodles. For her to re-stock, she discovered she sold N,3000 below the new price. It is not easy everybody is facing the heat.”

A food vendor in Lugbe, aka Madam Blessing, narrated her experience:

“We agreed on N10,000 for 11 tubers of yam. I paid and told her I wanted to buy others things in the market. So, I left the yams with her. When I came to pack my yams, she said she would not sell again that I should collect my money.

“Before I could say a word her neighbours backed her that the price has changed. They said it has increased to N11,000. That if I couldn’t I should collect my money. I had no choice but to add N1,000 because it was cheaper than others.”

A civil servant with Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, David Age, said feeding twice a day is no longer possible in his family. He said the condition was so bad that one of his children’s schoolteacher had to call him:

“I was very embarrassed when the teacher called that I should try and give the child snacks. But what can I do? I am a salary earner but the salary cannot comfortably feed my family, transportation, rent and other things.

“Our salaries have not changed but everything else has gone up. Landlords are behaving like they built their houses today. I have not gone to work for a week now because there was no money.”

The situation is the same in Nnewi, Anambra State where for months now price of every single thing has doubled and moving to triple. Others all over South East are complaining bitterly as the living condition becomes harder and harder.

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