Key questions this article answers:

  1. Why are Lagosians pessimistic about the present but optimistic about the future?
  2. The expectation that living conditions will improve is plausible. What is Stears’ consumer outlook for the Nigerian economy?

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,