In less than ten days, President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over to Bola AhmedTinubu after eight 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.
During the campaign, there was a picture where President Buhari and Osinbajo had sachet Milo, a popular cocoa beverage, on their dining table. Buhari must pay more than double for it if he buys it now. It was N30 during that period, it is now sold for N90.
One exceptional food Nigerians, mostly young people, like to cook is Jollof spaghetti—the ingredients are simple, pasta, egg, fish, tomato paste, oil, and spices.
Before Buhari, a pack of pasta costs N90, a piece of egg goes for N30, tomato paste is N25, a sachet of vegetable oil is N30 and small mackerel fish is N200.
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 same mackerel fish 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 costs N4,087 to prepare jollof rice for a family of five or six. The latest report for the first quarter shows that same portion cost N10,882.
When Buhari came on board, a bag of sachet water was sold for N70; the same goes for N250 in many states nationwide.
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 500gram 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 who feel the impact of increased 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 the basic item, many Nigerians believe that their kitchens and dining tables have been feeing the heat long before the war in Europe.
Ahead of the exit of Buhari, certainly every Nigeria would have felt the impact of his ‘Change mantra’ whether for good or bad.