In less than 10 days, barring no judicial intervention, President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over to Bola Tinubu, after 8 years in the saddle.
He promised to change the country— in the kitchens and on dining tables, Buhari’s changes have been felt.
“You voted for change and now change has come,” an elated Buhari said in his acceptance speech in 2015 after former President Goodluck Jonathan called to concede defeat.
In the course of the campaign, there was a picture where President Buhari and Osinbajo had sachet Milo, a popular cocoa beverage, on their dining table. Buhari would need to pay more than double for it if he decides to buy it now. It was N30 during that period, it is now sold for N90.
One special food Nigerians, mostly young people, like to cook, eat is Jollof spaghetti— the ingredients are simple: pasta, egg, fish, tomato paste, oil, and spices.
Before Buhari, a pack of pasta cost N90, a piece of egg goes for N30, tomato paste N25, a sachet of vegetable oil was N30 and small mackerel fish was for N200.
In 2023, to cook the same spaghetti jollof, one will need N600 for the pasta, N100 for tomato paste, N100 for a piece of egg, N100 for a sachet of oil and small mackerel fish now costs N800.
The jollof rice index released by SBM intelligence shows that Nigerians can no longer afford jollof rice as the price continues to grow under Buhari.
The index released in 2016 shows that it cost N4,087 to prepare jollof rice for a family of five or six. The latest report for the first quarter shows that the same portion cost N10,882.
A bag of sachet water when Buhari came on board was sold for N70, same goes for N250 in many states across the country.
Nimot Shekoni, a baker in Abuja, lamented the increment in prices of baking ingredients.
“Even four years ago, a mudu of flour cost N300, a 500 gram of butter was N200— it is not easy to bake cakes and still make profit,” he said.
It is not only small bakers like Shekoni that are feeling the impact of the increase in food items. Big bread makers have increased prices by almost 400% between 2015 and 2023.
One big loaf of bread sold for average of N250-N300 in 2015, the same bread now sells for N800-N1000.
Although experts have blamed the Russia/Ukraine war for the increment in prices of basic items, many Nigerians believe that their kitchens and dining tables have been feeling the heat long before the war in Europe.