Since the administration of President Bola Tinubu, the citizens of Nigeria, just like the frog in the popular African proverb, have realised that there are two types of water.

That popular adage says that ‘until a frog is thrown into hot water, it will never realise that they are two types of waters.’

Hardship: See How Small Business Owners In Nigeria Are Suffering
File photo depicting story

Few days into the administration, Nigerians knew that they were in for a long ride.

The “fuel subsidy is gone” declaration by President Tinubu to many, brought nothing but doom.


This hardship has lingered since then, and has remained a source of concern to many citizens such as business owners and entrepreneurs.

As a matter of fact, on the International Day of Happiness, it was revealed that Nigerians are not happy.


As we speak, the country ranks 102 out of the 104 countries that were surveyed, a significant drop from last year.

Trouble For Business Owners

The rising inflation and the cost of living in the country has seen to the end of many businesses.

Many business owners, especially small-scale and middle-scale business owners, have found it difficult to make ends meet.

The economic hardship, high cost of living, and rising prices of goods and food in Nigeria have reached alarming levels, while foreign exchange is becoming alarming by the day.


To worsen things, prices of food and commodities have skyrocketed in the markets, eroding the purchasing power of the average Nigerian, not to mention business owners.

Let’s take a moment to pity business owners, they are indeed going through a lot.


Being an entrepreneur in Nigeria is now challenging because of the high interest rates from financial institutions and the lack of basic and social infrastructure, among other things.

The Problem

According to experts, the problems facing Nigerian small business managers are many.

It includes, lack of finance for starting and developing businesses, poor infrastructure, inappropriate legislation.

They went on to mention, competition, lack of awareness creation, lack of managerial skills, corruption and inflation.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), made an interesting observation under the Bola Tinubu administration.

To them, Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 31.70 percent in February from 29.90 percent recorded in January 2024.

In its latest CPI and inflation report released on Friday, the bureau said that this figure indicates an increase of 1.80 per cent.

Monetary Policy

This indicates that in February 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level was more than the rate of increase in the average price level in January 2024.

The NBS added that, on an annual basis, February 2024’s inflation rate was 9.79 per cent higher than the 21.91 per cent recorded in February 2023.

The latest inflationary surge is despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) tightened monetary policy.

At the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the apex bank increased the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75 per cent.

Despite the increases in inflation, interest rates, and other challenges, small-scale business owners are still emerging, as people are daily finding solutions to the various issues confronting them.

Things Are Getting Worse

A correspondent of had an opportunity to speak with a Sharwama vendor in Bariga, a booming business area in Lagos State.

This interview was motivated to know the reason why Kolawale, popular in the area as Funny or X2Sharwama shut down his once thriving business.

According to Funny, the economic hardship in the country is the only reason why he shut down his business.

The inflation greatly affected his capital, not to talk of the high prices of ingredients in the market.

For instance, a kilo of chicken that was previously between ₦1,800 and ₦2,000, now sells for above ₦5,000.

A pack of hotdogs now sells for above ₦2,000 from its initial ₦800.

This is only to mention a few, because the price of every ingredient and other things Funny uses for his Sharwama production has tripled.

What made things worse for Funny is the purchasing of Nigerians which has dropped drastically.

According to him, he has landed himself in huge debt as he had to borrow some money to invest, but since people are no longer buying, he runs into loss.

A Cry For Help

Asides from our Sharwama friend, our correspondent also spoke with a trader named Iya Shukurat.

Iya Shukurat is also a food vendor, also in the busy area of Bariga.

During our chat, Iya Shukurat made it clear that her business is getting close to shutting down due to low patronage.

Customers no longer troop to shop in large numbers to eat her hot meals as they seek cheap alternatives for food.

The high prices of food stuffs is also a very big problem for her.

It has affected the quality of the food she prepares.

It has also affected the quantity of food she serves her customers.

Also Read: See How Much A Bag Of Rice Cost In Some States In Nigeria

And trust me in today’s Nigeria, that quantity of food means a lot to people.

To make things worse, she cannot preserve her food due to poor electricity. One cannot begin to imagine the level of loss she has suffered.

Iya Shukurat is scared that her business may come to an end, and she has called on the government to seek immediate ways to help small scale businesses.


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