Economic Dynamics: The Funny Financial Situation in Nigeria, The Rich Becoming Poor but Still Acting Rich, and Poor Becoming Rich but Still Acting Poor
We all know that today's modern technology, economy, and government were all developed by the Europeans and taken to all the other continents via conquest. You have to note, though, that the foundation of modern tech, economy, and government was mainly laid by Africans and Asians. Notable African civilizations that contributed were the Nubian, Egyptian, and West African civilizations, etc. While notable Asian civilizations that contributed were the Chinese, Babylonians, Arabs, etc.
Africans and Asians played the bigger role in laying the foundation for today's technology, economy, and government but from the latter part of the second millennium Europe took these foundations to the level that it is today, with the industrial revolution, setting up America and much of today's economy and government.
In Nigeria, which is a country in West Africa, the lifestyle was the simpler lifestyle of the pre-industrial age. The people were mainly farmers, fishers, miners, artists, musicians, smiths, etc. And the system of government was mainly monarchy. Then towards the end of the Transatlantic slave trade (late 19th century), Britain decided to overthrow the governments of the Nigerian people and colonize them.
Britain fought wars with them, won, and took over the country. Britain set up government, schools, introduced their own type of money (paper money) and economy and slowly Nigerian lifestyle changed from the pre-industrial life to this modern one where the monarchy is hardly relevant, technology is mainstream and the economy is ruled by paper money.
So with this new modern lifestyle thriving in Nigeria, jobs like teachers, lecturers, government staff, police/military became more common than they were in the past. Because modern schools require more teachers, modern government requires more staff and more policemen/military.
With time many Nigerians who got the sort of qualifications required filled these jobs and they became the new class of elite working-class Nigerians. They earned the most money working these jobs and the lesser classes below the elite were petty traders, farmers, road transport workers, auto-mechanics, etc.
This elite class of Nigerian workers acted like elites, as you would expect from anyone with high social status. It's easy to feel like the elite while earning higher, driving cars, having more education, and speaking the lingua of high society.
But then, the tables turned!
The Tables Turn
The Nigerian currency, the naira, started losing value due to mismanagement and the antics of the IMF, the US dollar, and international monetary policies.
With the naira losing value, the elite working-class Nigerians needed their salaries increased for them to meet up, but the increment wasn't forthcoming. I mean, they got increments but it never got to meet up with the speed and consistency with which the naira was losing value!
Here is a picture showing you how much and quickly the naira has lost value:
And as of now, 2023, $1 is N450. You can imagine how much increment of salary is required to keep up with this, the required increment hasn't come
As for the lesser class of working-class Nigerians who were petty traders, farmers, transport workers, auto-mechanics, etc. They didn't have many problems. Why? Because as money was losing value the prices of their goods and services were increasing at the same pace to meet up.
And now, the elite group is no longer the rich ones because their salaries are worthless. Meanwhile, the income of the lesser class is still worth a lot because the prices of their goods and services keep increasing to stay afloat as the currency loses value. So they are the new elite class!
But Nobody Really Knows!
The salary earners (former elites) are still feeling like they are the elites, because they have more education, speak the lingua better, etc. They do not realize that they are now economically under the traders and transport workers. Also, generally, the salary earners are still held in higher esteem that they don't deserve because they are mostly broke!
For example, a salary-earner guy working in a government office can decide to board a taxi, and when he finds out that the taxi driver is a former classmate he will be sad that his former classmate ended up as a taxi driver. He feels he is better off than his former classmate but look at their income: he is earning N30, 000 as a monthly salary while his taxi driver former classmate is earning about N20,000 weekly!
When he gets to his destination, he will tell his former classmate to keep the change and walk off feeling nothing but pity for his former classmate 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Can you imagine this!!
Still acting rich, dressing better, etc. The traders, and transport workers on the other hand, still don't act rich even though they are now rich. They usually don't dress so well, or act like they're better than anybody. They usually don't show off or buy flashy stuff. They mostly spend their money on drinks, women, family, and health.
Really interesting situation!
All Artworks used were created by myself.
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