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HomeOpinionThe Metaphor Of Economic Hardship In Nigeria— By Gbenga Oyelakin

The Metaphor Of Economic Hardship In Nigeria— By Gbenga Oyelakin

A gun never delivers a good message. Such is the case with economic hardship anywhere in the world. Let us picture Nigeria’s economic prosperity as a large garden that was once lush and vibrant with a diversity of blossoming flowers and thriving plants.

But, over time, the garden encountered ceaseless droughts, harsh weather, and neglect. The garden soil, which was once fertile and nourishing, is now dry and sterile, struggling to sustain growth and prosperity. The flowers in the large garden of Nigeria that once flourished are now wilting under the scorching sun of economic hardship and instability; its flower petals now droop with the weight of the crime rate, thin access to quality education and health, inflation, unemployment, and poverty. Despite the adverse impacts that the harsh economy in Nigeria has on its residents, there are potential positive effects.

To start with, the economic hardship has spurred entrepreneurship. It has made individuals seek alternative sources of income. Many residents in Nigeria have demonstrated resilience by starting small businesses to generate income and create opportunities for themselves and others. For example, salary earners who are either civil servants or private workers have started some side business(es) to augment their income.  

Again, facing economic challenges can motivate individuals to acquire new skills and knowledge. The skill development will make individuals stay competitive in the job market and also create their own opportunities. This can lead to individuals employing innovative ideas by looking for creative solutions to survive and thrive in a harsh economy. Thus, individuals can develop new products, services, and technologies. This personal and professional growth will then lead to long-term benefits for residents and the economy as a whole.

Besides that, the need to adapt to a harsh economy can encourage prudent spending. People who spend extravagantly and for showoffs become careful with their expenses when the economy is dicey. They then choose to diversify their style to livelihoods, and they try to explore new avenues for income generation, slim-fitting their expenditure to only necessary materials.

Not only that, tough economic times can foster a sense of community solidarity. Similarly, harsh economic conditions can prompt governments and institutions to implement policy reforms aimed at addressing the root causes of economic instability, improving governance, and fostering sustainable development. On the one hand, community solidarity simply suggests that community residents come together to support one another through resource-sharing, mutual assistance, and collaborative initiatives. This can strengthen social bonds and resilience within communities. On the other hand, governmental and institutional policy reforms can create a more favorable environment for residents in every community in the long run.

To conclude, while the negative effects of the harsh economy in Nigeria are intense and challenging, it is very necessary to recognize the resilience, creativity, and potential for positive change that can emerge from such a difficult circumstance. By addressing the systemic issues contributing to economic hardship and leveraging opportunities for growth and development, residents can work towards a more prosperous and equitable future in Nigeria’s economy.

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Gbenga Samson Oyelakin bagged both B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; he is a remote mentor at Teach-for-Nigeria, Nigeria and he is currently in the USA as a Fulbright Scholar and Cultural Ambassador. He is an educator who has taught English at the university and prevarsity levels in Nigeria, fighting educational inequity in his community; he empowers learners to meet their learning needs through educational acquisition and ethical leadership.

Gbenga is also a broadcast journalist who has impacted the minds of members of the public with premium contents focused on the importance of formal education and skills acquisition. Gbenga advocates for people with mental health issues and combats societal problems like the stigmatization and discrimination of people with disabilities on the radio. He is a newscaster and news editor and reporter and he has hosted professionals from various disciplines to empower the public by lecturing them on radio in Nigeria.

He is an actor, a writer, copyeditor, professional manager and Yorùbá<>English translator.

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