Money Is Tight Right Now. Are Nigerians Still Investing?

Here’s what we found out.

It’s been over two years since the coronavirus outbreak sent shockwaves through the entire global economy. Several sectors in the economy saw a sharp and unexpected decline in revenue. Employees were forced to take pay cuts, and in some severe cases, some were laid off. While the global labor market is recovering gradually, Nigerians have continued to face deep financial hardship. As of June 2022, the inflation rate is about 16.82%, which is the highest it has been in the last decade. This reduction in purchasing power has led to an increased cost of living – the prices of food, transport, goods, and commodities are at an all-time high. It is safe to say that most Nigerians barely have enough to get by, not to talk of investing the little they have. We spoke to some Nigerians who gave us a look at their financial reality. 

From a freelance writer who is taking out all the money she used to invest to a small business owner who lost a lot of money due to the market decline, here is what we correspondent found out.

Note: Pseudonyms were used for the sake of anonymity 

Name: Uduak

Age: 27

Occupation: Freelance writer

To be honest, I have not invested in a while because the stock market has been down lately. I’m even going as far as gradually removing the money I put in it. My landlord unexpectedly increased my rent by almost 30% so I need all the money I can get. Right now, I’m just focused on saving as much as I can and not tieing money down anywhere. It’s not what I want to do but I have to do it anyways. 

Name: Ibrahim

Age: 28

Occupation: Lawyer

I am one of those people who monitor the stock market every single day. A good amount of what I post on my social media is related to stocks, investments, and crypto. I completely enjoy it and I don’t I’ll be stopping anytime soon. It could be because I have disposable income, so I can afford to invest comfortably.

Name: Olaoluwa

Age: 32

Occupation: Software Engineer

Oh yes! I still invest, no matter how little. Ever since I saw my money grow the first time I invested it in 2018, I made a pact with myself never to leave my money idle. The inflation rate isn’t even helping matters, so I do all I can to invest, even though it’s small. Make no mistake, I’ve lost a lot of money before, due to bad investments but I think I have made more than I have lost. 

Name: Kingsley

Age: 56

Occupation: Businessman 

Although I don’t know how to invest, I give my younger brother between N35,000 to N50,000 to help me invest. It used to be more than that but business hasn’t been great lately. I sell building materials and although I have 5 shops, my profit margin isn’t what it used to be, compared to the last 5 years. I was fortunate enough to send my two daughters to Private Universities, so they completed their education in good time. Now, I’m considering selling off a property I built so I can afford to send them to school abroad for their postgraduate studies.  

Name: Chidi

Age: 25

Occupation: Product Designer

One of my financial goals in Q13 was to start an investment culture that would free me from this naira wahala but I don’t how I would do that now was to get started on investing but I’m not sure I can. I was unfortunately affected by the recent layoffs in the labor market startup ecosystem so I’m not sure I have enough money to invest. Even if I invest, I don’t think I can spend more than N50,000, at least till I get a full-time job. 

Name: Nifesimi

Age: 30

Occupation: Student

I understand the importance of stocks and investment right from an early age. My father was a stockbroker while my mum was a core investment banker before they retired. Although I’m still in graduate school, I still try to take out 15% of my monthly stipend and invest in low-risk dividend stocks. If I’m being real, I have earned money but I’ve also lost money to crypto (I bought bitcoin when it was high and it has dipped ever since). Nonetheless, I’ll still invest when I can.

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