Economist Predicts Economic Hardship In 2024, Urges Wise Spending

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Renowned development economist Professor Chiwuike Uba has predicted a continuation of economic hardship in 2024. In light of this, he urged Nigerians to adopt a prudent approach to their finances, prioritising essential and budget-friendly spending.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday, Uba, the Executive Director of Amaka Chiwuike Uba Foundation (ACUF) Initiative for Policy and Governance, noted the importance of adjusting spending habits in response to the current cost-of-living crisis and pressure on incomes.
He cited recent data from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, revealing that a staggering 62.9% of the population (approximately 133 million people) are multidimensionally poor, facing deprivations beyond just financial limitations. This highlights the severity of the situation, with over 40% experiencing monetary deprivation alone.
Furthermore, the alarming inflation rate of 28.20% as of November 2023 underscores the exorbitant costs associated with basic necessities.
Uba expressed concern that despite these challenging circumstances, Nigerians, particularly those most vulnerable, often fail to exercise sufficient financial caution. He observed a tendency for Nigerians to emulate the spending patterns of government officials, even when facing personal economic difficulties.
He attributed this behaviour to a complex interplay of cultural practices, economic realities, and the desire to imitate those in positions of power. While acknowledging the potential for some frugality during the holiday season, he cautioned against succumbing to societal pressures that often lead to extravagant expenditures.
“The persistence of these spending habits despite the afflictions of a struggling economy and widespread poverty serves as a reminder of the complexities embedded within the Nigerian society.
“It highlights the intricate interplay between cultural practices, economic circumstances, and the tendency to emulate the behaviours of those in power.
While the expected frugality during the holiday (yuletide) season may seem logical, societal norms often steer individuals down a different path, leading to extravagant expenditures even in the face of adversity,” he said.
Uba further criticised the government’s continued wasteful spending despite the nation’s dire financial state. He pointed out the irresponsible accumulation of public debt and the tendency of both national and sub-national governments to prioritise excessive spending over the well-being of the populace.
He also observed that many individuals, upon receiving year-end bonuses, impulsively spend them during the festive season instead of saving for future needs.
In conclusion, Professor Uba urged Nigerians to adopt a more responsible approach to their finances in 2024. He stressed the need for prioritising essential needs, avoiding unnecessary debt, and practising financial prudence in the face of a potentially difficult economic year.


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