A statement by President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, asserting that Nigerians enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa has sparked debate on social media.
While some Nigerians doubt the accuracy of the claim, the Cost of Living Index by Numbeo.com lends credibility to Onanuga’s statement.
The index measures the relative prices of groceries, restaurants, transportation and other consumer goods, excluding rent. On average, Numbeo estimates the cost of living in Nigeria to be 74% lower than in the United States.
Onanuga’s claim came in response to criticism from former presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, about the Tinubu administration’s handling of the country’s economic challenges.
Atiku had said, “The private sector is shrinking by the day as small businesses are emasculated and as Multi-National Companies, confused and weary of the economy, leave Nigeria in droves. The intense cost of living pressures has created more misery for the poor in towns and villages. There is HUNGER IN THE LAND as basic commodities, including BREAD, are becoming out of reach for average Nigerians.”
In response, Onanuga maintained that “Nigerians still enjoy the lowest cost of living in Africa” adding “Atiku should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy, which to all intents and purposes and to ensure the survival of our country needs a complete overhaul. The economy was plagued by decades of significant fiscal deficits, a low revenue base, high external and domestic debts, and huge debt service burden.”
Based on Numbeo’s data, Nigeria offers the most affordable cost of living among African countries.
Other African nations on the index with higher cost of living include Tunisia, Somalia, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, Kenya and Libya.
While some may debate methodology, Numbeo’s data indicates that everyday consumer goods remain relatively affordable for average Nigerians. inflation and unemployment.
KEY FINDINGS IN THE DATA:
Nigeria ranks lowest out of 24 African countries on Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index for 2024, with a score of 19.0.
On average, the cost of living in Nigeria is 74% lower than in the United States. Rent is 67.4% lower on average.
Tunisia, Somalia, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, Kenya, Libya rank higher than Nigeria in terms of cost of living.
Factors like reliance on agriculture, economic diversification, and abundant natural resources contribute to the affordability of living in many African nations including Nigeria.
Based on Numbeo’s data, Bayo Onanuga’s claim that Nigeria has the lowest cost of living in Africa is FACTUAL.
However, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of cost-of-living indices as more comprehensive data from additional sources could provide further insight.