The saying; ‘Cut your coat according to your cloth’, has become the order of the day in the everyday lives of Nigerians.
It has not only dug itself into their lifestyles but also their pockets.
Average Nigerian desires three basic things – food, clothing and shelter, and then other needs follow.
The best brands of everything from clothes to food are aimed at and become the practice throughout the period of wealth.
However, the economic state of the nation has put both the rich and poor in the same basket, as many now go for cheap brands of goods to cut costs.
Choice of food
Processed food, which is basically consumed in Nigeria, is also feeling the hard blows of the economy as people now go for the cheap ones.
Ms. Dupe Ibrahim, a civil servant, had to go for a new brand of milk with good taste, whose roll (10 sachets) cost N450, instead of the one that costs N950.
“I have changed almost all the brands of processed food I buy from the market.
“I have dropped brands like Milo, Bournvita, Blueband margarine, and Peak milk, among others.
“Their prices are double that of some new brands.
“I now buy a new type of milk for N450 per roll. The other one was N950 per roll, which was two rolls for my family and I for two weeks.
“That money for two rolls I now use to buy more than three, because of my new preference.
“In Nigeria of today you need to be smart and drop shame to survive.”
A market survey by Economy & Lifestyle showed that new brands of different food products such as spaghetti, custard, sugar, milk, beverages, oatmeals, vegetable oil, butter, mayonnaise, among others, have filled the market, with people going for them, as the cost of the old brands have tripled.
Mrs. Adebayo Ranti, a businesswoman, with a family of four, said she had to mix cassava and rice flour (per paint N5,000) to replace poundo yam, whose price per 1.8kg is now N10,500.
“I do love poundo yam flour, as a swallow, but the price has continued to rise since 2019.
“Recently, when I got to the market a 1.8kg of poundo yam was sold at N10,500. I was angry because it wouldn’t be enough for a family of four to eat thrice.
“I had to fall back to rice and cassava flour which has similar taste and looks like poundo yam.
“A paint rubber of rice and cassava flour cost N3,000 and will last for a month or more for us depending on how often we eat it.
“At least I have saved thousands with such substitution.”
Mrs. Aina Olorogun, a tailor said her family does consume yam a lot but since the price of yam has increased she goes for potato and spaghetti.
“We are a family of five. Three kids, myself and my husband.
“We love eating yam alot and now the price of yam has increased even when it was the season.
“A big tuber of yam is sold for N2,000 to N2,500. Before it was sold for N1,000 to N1,200.
“If you are lucky you can get up to 15 slices. Sometimes almost half of the yam will be bad.
“So, I thought why spend lots of money on something that is not satisfying you.
“I decided to switch to potatoes of which that of N2,000 will sustain us for three weeks, and spaghetti, which is also cheap because there are new brands in the market such as Aunty B. So, I go for them.”
Choice of men’s underwear
The price of men’s underwear has also increased as many now go for second hand, pants, boxers and singlet.
Those who couldn’t go for second hand due to shame get the lowest quality brand.
Mr. Andrew Fayele, a Secondary school teacher, said:” Men’s undergarments are very expensive. You know there are some men that have only two undergarments.
“I can’t live such a life. So I had to go for second hand ones which cost N300 for a pair. I have a woman who sells boxers and singlets. She do bring them to my house and I select.
“Some friends of mine do come over to select too. But those who can’t come due to shame have to go for cheap new ones.”
A tour of the Lagos Island market revealed that a pair of original men’s briefs is between N7,000 to N10,000 while the less quality one is as low as N1,000.
Similarly, the price of an original lux three in one singlet goes for N7000 while other products three in one singlet costs N2,500 to N3,500.
Mrs Betty Nwoke, an undergarment seller in Lagos Island, said:”People no longer go for the expensive undergarments anymore. Some even prefer wearing shorts as undergarments.
“Lux which is a very quality brand of singlet is difficult to get. If you see it, know that it is fake because the original is very expensive.
“People now go for other brands like this Yomitex product.”
Choice of shelter
For Mr. Olumide Johnson, a furniture builder, his dream of living in a three bedroom apartment was cut short as he had to forgo it for a room and parlor self-contained to cut costs.
“I have lived in a three bedroom apartment for seven years with my family.
“Recently, we moved to a room and parlor self-contained room as the rent for our old apartment was increased to N700,000 annually from N500,000 that I was managing to pay.
” Now, I can breathe well when I remember my rent (N300,000).”
Mr. Makinde Jubril, a house agent said many landlords with three-bedroom apartments in non-industrial areas were changing it to a room and parlor self-contained or a room self-contained to enable people to afford it.
According to him, “People who come to most of us here keep asking for a room and parlour self-contained apartment. Some are self-contained apartments.
“Some of the occupants of the three-bedroom apartment couldn’t pay their rent. They had to move elsewhere.
“Houses were lying empty with no occupants.
“So most landlords had to demarcate their house to suit the request of prospective tenants.”
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