In the short term, Nigerians will remain embattled with higher petrol and food prices due to the recent reforms. As of June 2023, inflation was 22.8%, aggressively eroding consumer disposable income, which grew by a tiny average of 0.1% between 2018-2022 compared to a 6% growth from 2011-2015.
Although inflation had been rising before Nigeria’s recent reforms (fuel subsidy and foreign exchange), prices have risen even faster post-reforms. A litre of petrol (₦608/litre) as of July 2023 is 3x times more expensive than December 2022 (₦206/litre), and food inflation is up 25%, an 18-year high.
While Stears’ recently launched approval ratings is a pilot study focused on Lagos alone, our findings are indicative of these reforms' impact on people's lives. For instance, 52% of Lagosians surveyed believe their lives have worsened in the past year.
The plot twist is that 71% of these same Lagosians believe their lives will be better next year, a paradox between present and future consumer expectations for Lagosians.
While this brings to mind the famous song by Fela,