Cost of Living: Bridging the Gap for Nigerians

Amara Oko

Amara Oko

Media, Araceli Aid Foundation

‘It’s easier to love Nigeria from a distance.’ This sentiment seems to be gaining traction among many young people on social media platforms.

This shouldn’t be the case, considering how interesting it could be if people found it easier to live in Nigeria.

There are about 250 ethnic groups in the country, which means 250 different cultures, foods, languages, etc. You have to agree that it would be interesting to live in a Nigeria where you can experience these unique diversities.

However, with the minimum wage pegged at N30,000 ($18.40) and an inflation rate of 29.90% – significantly higher than the global average, there’s only so much the common citizen can achieve.

And when you take it down to the rural areas where about 60% of the population call homeland, and the cost of living is 30% higher than the national average, it will shed more light on the fact that their access to healthcare, food, and employment, is significantly lesser than that of those in the urban areas.

For instance, the alarming rate of food insecurity caused by factors including the attacks on rural farmlands make it difficult to access fresh produce, thus, spending more of their income on food. Also, by extension, many youths who were dependent on agriculture, have been edged out leading to higher unemployment rate in these rural areas.

Of course, these instances barely paint a picture—not the entire story. Considering that rural areas in Nigeria are lands of unyielding spirits and untapped potential, it is essential that the gap in accessing healthcare, food, and employment is bridged.

The popular saying, “A hungry man is an angry man,” is true, which is why food security is an important factor in bridging the aforementioned gap. Driven by this discovery, the Araceli Aid Foundation has been helping to improve the living conditions of people in rural communities in Nigeria.

Bearing in mind that the minimum wage in Nigeria is #30,000, imagine how much gifting a bag of rice would have alleviated a family in a rural area of a state like Enugu, taunted by kidnappers and herdsmen’s attacks on their farmlands.

In case you were wondering, a bag of local rice is currently at #75,000 ($48.38), but most people in these rural areas can only afford to buy rice with measuring cups, and a cup costs #300 ($0.19). So, for a standard family with four children, an average of 5-7 cups per meal equals #2,100 ($1.35). Also, because rice is a diverse meal in Nigeria and is often eaten 3-4 times a week, it totals #8,400 ($5.42) per week. When we multiply further by the 4 weeks in a month, we’d get #33,000 (21.29), and this only applies if the family eats only once a day for just four days in a week. You should also know that the greater demographic of the rural areas in Nigeria consists of ‘senior citizens’ mostly retired and dependent. 

To help alleviate the effects of food insecurity, the Araceli Aid Foundation has, in recent times, visited communities in rural areas with food stuff, including bags of rice per family, alongside other food items like tubers of yam and spices. This is certainly a step in the right direction, and while the challenges are undeniable, the potential is immense, and through your support, the lives of individuals and families in rural communities will be directly impacted.

Improving people’s living conditions also goes beyond providing essential food supplies, which is no doubt essential; you can also show support by offering or donating to the shelter and other basic necessities to indigent and destitute individuals. Your contribution, no matter the size, can make a real difference, and together, we can build a brighter future where people in these rural areas in Nigeria will have the chance to thrive.

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