By Vincent Ujumadu – Awka
With the increasing hardship occasioned by the bad economy in the country, many residents in Anambra State say they have been forced to relocate to the hinterland as they could no longer cope with the demands of residing in the cities.
Investigation by Vanguard showed that those most affected were civil servants whose salaries can no longer meet their monthly expenditure, as well as pay children’s school fees.
Narrating how he had to pack out from his three-bedroom apartment in the heart of Awka to Isuaniocha in Awka North local government area of the state, a civil servant, Mr. Onyebuchi Nwofor said the relocation was inevitable if he had to continue to manage life under the present situation in the country.
He said: “I moved into a three-bedroom flat in Awka in 2008 when I got married at a rent of N150000 per annum. Two years later, the rent was increased to N200000 and to N250000 after another two years.
In 2017, the landlord said he would renovate the house and after the exercise, he increased the rent to N400000 per annum.
” With this increase, I knew I had been priced out of the house and I decided to look for another apartment. It was then I discovered that the average house rent in Awka had become N450000 and I had to make a decision.
” This was how I went to the rural area of Isuaniocha where I pay N100000. The problem here is that the area does not have a regular electricity supply, while we rely on tankers for water supply.
“The midst of all these, my salary has not increased much, and even at the rent of N100000, my family still finds it difficult to eat three square meals a day.
” My wife who teaches in a private school does not earn much and our combined salaries are not enough to pay rent, eat and pay school fees for our three children”.
Another civil servant, Mr. Obiadi Christian said he had to move his family to his village, Ichida in Anaocha local government area when he could no longer cope with house rent in the city. He said his children also had to relocate to the public school in his village as it is not possible to be bringing them to Awka every day.
Another resident of Awka, Mr. Modestus Obiorah said he had to become an artisan when urban authorities demolished his shop and he had no money to pay for a shop.
According to him, touts were collecting N200 daily from him until the government decided to demolish the roadside shops.
He added: “I was just managing to feed my family from the business, but when the shop was demolished, I started working at construction sites where I make an average of N3,000 daily.
“My desire is to get a Keke on a hire purchase because the construction work is seriously affecting my health.”