Opinion: Don't Compete With The Government In Swindling The Public
It should be noted first that these post is inspired by popular Kenyan Facebook user, Wanja Kavengi. If you don't know her, go to Facebook and check her out.
Back to business...
Sometimes, you walk into a market you visited the previous day, and the prices of goods and services have escalated within a space of less than 24 hours. You may wish to ignore whatever it is you need and move on or pay 'unwillingly', but whichever one you do, you have to question how those things happen.
Dollar increase... recession is now the national anthem in Nigeria, such that even school children sing it too telling their parents, 'Daddy, you have to increase my pocket money, dollar had gone up', or 'Mummy, this money is small, would I buy anything with this?'
Even the prices of home-made products have sky-rocketed and your face will be filled with wonder. Or haven't you heard a trader that sells tiger nuts (ofio) say, 'Haa, it is now expensive. Don't you know dollar is now high?'
Everyone seems to then think we import virtually everything and produce nothing. The pepper or tomato seller would just wake up one morning and decide that the price must go up. Maybe because people still use these things in parties or people can still afford them and the traders think it should not be so. Or you have an opinion?
In the market one particular day, some guys from a particular tribe (tribe name withheld for a reason) were bargaining with a trader who sells clothes, and another trader walked in and when he noticed those guys, he practically sent them out saying, 'am I Buhari that increased the price?'
His anger is yet explainable. Considering the fact that those clothes were tokunbo (old clothes), the question is asked, 'what's up, do we need dollar for that. Or how has recession affected that?' (An expert would be needed here).
Apart from that, some traders intentionally mix their products with 'something else', so that it looks like it has quantity or quality and sell it for the same 'Buhari price', and still blame the price on Buhari.
That's what Kavengi brought up:
If you haven't bought a fake product before or haven't been overcharged for a service in Nigeria, then you are not living in Nigeria.You are a charcoal seller. All year, you have been filling sacks with tiny bits of charcoal, the size of beans, mixed with twigs, some stones and fleas. Then you cover that blasphemous atrocity with large chunks of coal at the top, making us, charcoal enthusiasts, believe that we are, indeed, purchasing a full sack of charcoal. Why are you competing with the government in swindling the public?
The traders so convince (or is it confuse) the buyers that those things are original and you even use them for generations for come. Only to go home and it is utter rubbish.
See this instance...
A student was interested in having a PC in his house and so asked his dad to give him money to buy one. He went to Computer Village at Ikeja, Lagos. Bought the monitor, system unit, keyboard and mouse, together with a speaker, got home and was overjoyed.
On connecting all to the socket, the monitor refused to come on. Calling the owner of the shop, he said he had travelled to the Eastern part of the country in less than 5 hours. The student got angry and threatened the man over the phone and went straight to the shop. After displaying bits of madness, the shop owner surfaced from 'Onitsha'.
Checking the monitor, something had been removed.
Now, that is a bit of the iceberg that has overtaken the Nigerian market and all is blamed on the government.
The last question for this piece, how do we want to question the corrupt charges (money -mismanagement, looting, etc) against government officials, when the ordinary Nigerian is ever-ready to swindle his fellow citizen?
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