Today, people all over the world have been rejoicing for making it to the Month of February, 2022. In Nigeria, observations showed that interactions on social media have peaked as family members, friends, work colleagues,neighbours and church members, exchange “Happy New Month” goodwill messages.
It is customary for Nigerians to exchange pleasantries with one another at the beginning of every month and during major festivities such as Christmas, New Year, Easter, Sallah, etc. This they do regardless of the situations in the country, good or bad. They just hope and trust God that things will be better. Same hope is being enkindled with the coming of a new month, February.
But, is there really any reason(s) to be positive in the new month? According to the outcome of our findings, the month of February may bring good tidings to people especially Nigerians , considering the economic outlook and other events in the country.
The following are among the reasons Nigerians should be positive in February.
- Nigerian economy has been projected to experience growth in 2022. World Bank in its 2022 Global Economic Prospects, tipped Nigeria’s economy to grow from 2.4 percent in 2021 to 2.5 percent in 2022 and 2.8 percent in 2023. With things normalising after the hassles of Christmas and New Year, the evidence of the economic growth may start manifesting in February.
- Oil prices are becoming impressive. Crude oil remains the mainstay of the nation’s economy and there are positive signs about the price of the produce. It has been projected that Nigeria and other countries under OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) would benefit from higher oil prices. As at Monday, 31st January, crude oil was sold for $87 per barrel ,with Brent sold for $89.50 per barrel. This is good news for Nigeria and a reason for Nigerians to be positive.
- Naira is expected to appreciate. With the pressures on naira easing gradually and demand on dollars reducing, the nations currency is believed to be on the part of recovery. Appreciation of the naira means that people will begin to enjoy increased value on the money in their pocket. The price of commodities is expected to come down a bit.
- Slashing of bank charges. The Central Bank of Nigeria , CBN, in January annouced the slashing of charges on ATM maintenance and inter-bank transfers. In line with the new directive, ATM withdrawals that used to attract N65 is now N35. Similar, interbank transfer charges is now N50 as against N300. This is a good development and reason to remain positive.
- Price of food to come down further. In some places, people are still harvesting their farm produce. There is also the certainty that many farmers usually dispose of part of their harvests in order to have more money to start another farming season. Again with the Yuletide celebrations over, prices of everyday foods would return to normal. So, rice, garri, yam, beans ,etc are supposed to be a bit more affordable. However, onions is quite expensive now. But, a lot of people can actually do without it.
- Fish is in abundance. From February up till April, fish is usually in abundance. This is because Nigerians in different parts involve more in dry season fishing. Natural ponds and lakes get dried up faster around this time. With increased hamattan, the natural fish ponds dry up very rapidly. In parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Anambra, among River-rine states, people are busy now harvesting fish from natural ponds. So, when you go to the market to buy fish, bargain for the least price as this is the season.
- School fees may have been paid. It is expected that the children might have gone back to school for 2nd term and the major bills settled. If that’s the case, then parents have more to enjoy in February and a couple of months to come.
- Short Calendar. The month of February is the shortest with 28 days in a normal year and 29 in leap year. This is a normal year and people have only 28 days to go. This is quite good for salary earners, as they will likely get paid earlier. This is certain for the private sector organisation but remains dicey for government workers, especially those in the employ of the Federal Government, who are yet to receive their January salary.
- Year of abundance. For the first time in many years, the harmattan wind was uniformly distributed across the country. Hamattan , it is said to bring abundance in fruiting of crops. So, there is hope that fruits will be plenty and farms will bring forth more food this year.
- Answered Prayers. Since the beginning of the year, so many Nigerians have been participating in one religious programme or the other , aimed at beginning the year with God. For those that have been committed to the prayer and fasting programmes, Februay and beyond are periods of boom. May it be your portion.