The price of consumer goods in Lagos is set to increase further, following an increase of roughly 10% over the last six months. This will put more strain on the average Nigerian worker.

This report reveals that both locally produced consumer goods and imported goods have maintained fairly unstable prices over the last six months. The general upward trend will put a lot of pressure on people who are already grappling with other social challenges as irregular salaries, fluctuating pump price and availability of petroleum products, insufficient power, etc.

Living standards will drop further with the upsurge in the price of consumables at a time when the average Nigerian is least empowered socially and financially to overcome the challenge posed by rising food and commodities price.

Our research, which sampled 500 workers in the Lagos area, reveals that 90% of the workers who fall under the minimum wage category of N18,500 spend almost 60% of their annual income on feeding, 20% on transportation and the other 20% on miscellaneous expenditure, leaving them with no savings.

Perishables, staples and edible consumables like tomatoes, pepper, yams, etc. recorded an average increase of 10% in price due to factors such as seasonal changes, increased production and handling costs and the weaker foreign exchange rates, and the prolonged period of fuel scarcity. Household and personal hygiene products such as detergents, toiletries and cooking gas recorded minimal increase in prices as well.

The average Nigerian is presently not well placed financially to cope with the rapidly increasing price of commodities, and this is due to the fact that the Public Service (the major employer of labour in the country), which is responsible for the source of income for a majority of the country’s workforce, has been bedevilled by serious cash flow problems thereby affecting the wages of their workforce.

A large number of the 36 states of the federation at the moment owe their workers at least 2 months wages, with others meeting their wage obligations late. This in itself poses a serious challenge as the average Nigerian not only faces the challenge of increasing prices, but also a scarcity of funds to meet up the daily spending requirements.

We urge the federal, state and local governments to play their part in curtailing the persistent rise in consumer commodities to where they have reasonable control over, for example by encouraging small scale farming across the nation. Such interventions however, should not jeopardize vital food supplies and thus exacerbate the situation.

Download report (pdf, 20 pages)