By Stanley Alieke, Esq.
I got a call earlier that I have to be in Lagos in the next 4 hours for an urgent business meeting. I cleared my schedule and logged on to airline websites to purchase an airplane ticket from Abuja to Lagos. I was shocked to my bone marrow to see an economy ticket price to be at the rate of N120k while a business class ticket is at the rate of N180k.
I quickly called an airline agent who used to make ticket reservations and bookings for me to enquire why that outrageous price because I know that the recent “usual” price for an economy ticket ranges from N80-100k and I was told that it was because it’s “rush hour or dye minute booking”.
This is when it hit me so hard that the Nigerian economy has become totally shitty and is really going down the drain. I never imagined that the price of an economy ticket in Nigeria would be over 100k. I remember just a few years back when flight tickets used to be N10k, then it went up to 15k-20k. Just in February this year, I purchased an Airpeace economy ticket from Abuja to Lagos for N23k.
Most times when you complain about the current cost of airplane tickets some children of doom will be quick to ask you to use the road instead. Like really? Use the road and risk getting kidnapped to end up raising N100m for ransom, that is if you are lucky to be kept alive by your abductors.
No matter how rich you are in Nigeria I’m sure that you are already feeling the harshness of the economic reality and if you are yet to feel it, I’m not a prophet of doom but I can boldly prophesy to you with my two eyes open that it will get to you soon. Just soon. No matter how much you make or earn you will surely feel it. Imagine paying over 100k for a one-leg ticket to travel and go and do a job and pay another N100k to go back home.
The bigger problem is individual earnings; the minimum wage is yet to be adjusted to accommodate this recent hike in the prices of items in the market. Not just airlines are hiking their flight prices, the cost of food in the market is also outrageous; all the restaurants and supermarkets I patronize in Abuja also hiked the price of their items.
Is Nigeria really working for anybody at this point in time?
Is Nigeria working for you? Are you having a good time?
Is anybody really having a smooth sail in Nigeria currently?
Are those praise singers that come on radios, televisions, and social media to sing praises to this government honest about the situation of things in their immediate environment, or are they hired by the government to raise propaganda in favor of the incumbent government?
I have friends and acquaintances in different trades and professions. I have doctors as friends running their own hospitals, I have business owners as friends, I have CEOs, I have civil servants as friends and sometimes I do ask each of them how they are coping and none is having a good time currently even the ones that are politicians are also complaining.
Petrol stations also raised the price of petrol. N10k worth of fuel used to get my car tank filled up and it will last me for five days but right now, I spend N15k in getting my car tank filled up for the same car.
Schools also raised the price of their fees. No matter how much you are earning in Nigeria at the moment you must feel the harshness of the economic reality unless you don’t want to be honest with yourself.
It is just the economic situation that we are talking about here, we are yet to talk about the security situation, let us not even go down the education lane, health care nko?, lack of jobs, and survival of businesses, etc. If we delve into all those topics now we may end up weeping all through the day.
But the hope we have is that 2023 is around the corner. Another opportunity for Nigerians to decide. I’m sure everyone has suffered enough so no one needs to be preached to anymore to make a good decision with their votes. You can as well choose to vote wrong again and let us tie ourselves down with another 4 years of hardship and anguish.
The ball is in your court.
Stanley Alieke is an Abuja based lawyer. You can reach him via Infoitooknow@gmail.com