Nigerian Lives: How Are Nigerian Students Surviving The Dire Economy?

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Nigerian Lives: How Are Nigerian Students Surviving The Dire Economy?

As Nigeria’s socioeconomic climate continues to worsen amid the plummeting value of the Naira, the spotlight falls on how Nigerian students are navigating the resulting economic challenges.

President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies come under scrutiny as students struggle with rising costs of living and financial uncertainty. With the currency’s decline impacting daily expenses, students face heightened pressure to adapt and persevere through the tight economic climate precipitated by Tinubu’s economic policies. 

The broader implications of economic policies on the youth’s access to education and prospects for the future signal the urgent need for sustainable solutions to address Nigeria’s economic woes.

How are Nigerian Students surviving the dire economy? We asked six students and here is what they had to say


Bisola, FUTA

The value of my meager allowance has been hardest hit by the bad economy. Before now, N20K served me for the month. However, this can barely cover my basic needs, like food, and transportation to and from school has become increasingly daunting. Public transportation was expensive, and the cost of fuel seemed to rise with each passing day. To survive in Federal University of Technology, Akure, I have resorted to walking some distance and hitching rides with strangers. Dropping out of school was not an option, because education is my only hope for a better future.

I have sought out every opportunity for financial assistance. I have applied for scholarships and grants, written countless essays and letters of appeal, determined to secure the funds needed to continue my education. I have also taken on part-time jobs whenever I could, and this comes with sacrificing precious hours of sleep to earn a few extra naira.


Emma, NAU

I’m in a difficult position. I’m struggling to translate my academic acumen in analyzing graphs and charts into practical solutions to help my financial predicament. As the economy crashed, I watched in dismay as prices soared and inflation mercilessly eroded the value of my hard-earned savings.

Well, I have taken action to secure my financial stability. Drawing my skills and knowledge, I ventured into the world of freelance writing, hoping to supplement my income and alleviate my financial strain. Armed with my laptop and determination, I joined online platforms for writing opportunities, however, the reality of freelance writing is challenging. The competition is fierce. I’m playing in a saturated market, where countless writers vied for the same projects, making it difficult to secure lucrative opportunities. I have managed to get some dollars here and there, and it has helped to supplement my income. We are not there yet, but I will survive in Nnamdi Azikiwe, University. 


Kareem, UNILAG

My social life is now in the gutters. Before now, I used to go on dates and attend concerts. I had to make this difficult decision in order to navigate the financial challenges the economy has posed.

As prices of things tripled and quadrupled, and inflation rendered my tech bro salary almost worthless, I realized that I could no longer afford the luxury of going on dates the way I used to before. What was once a source of joy and excitement now seemed like an unattainable dream, as the cost of dining out, movie tickets, and transportation became expensive. The lifestyle don cost.

I have made the decision to prioritize my financial well-being over my social life. If the date is not indoors, I’m not going again. I’m coming to realize that I even have a beautiful space, quite Instagrammable too and the potential has been wasting away since.  



I’m the life of the party, you know? From faculty to school-wide events, you can count on me to be there, soaking in the lively atmosphere and making memories with friends. I’ve often been the one to lead the charge, sometimes even footing the bill for our drinks and food or reserving tables for the crew, but lately, things have shifted a bit. With the economic downturn and the dwindling value of the Naira, I’ve had to reassess my party habits. Instead of being out and about every other night like before, I’ve scaled back significantly, maybe hitting the scene two or three times a month.

My friends have started to notice the change in my behavior, questioning why I’m not as present as I used to be. I’ve been honest with them, explaining that I’m taking a step back to reflect on my life and priorities in University of Port Harcourt. I figure I’ll make a grand return once the economy picks up again, but if it doesn’t, I might have to come clean and admit that I can’t afford to live the high life like I used to. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes you have to face reality, even if it means missing out on a few parties along the way. 


Kelyn, UNN

My monthly allowance from my parents used to be 15K, but as the economy took a nosedive, they graciously bumped it up to 20K. However, even with the increase, making ends meet has been a constant struggle in University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Life within my school demands is quite expensive and 20K barely stretches till the month’s end. Adding to the complexity is the fact that I can’t just call home for more financial aid before the month’s end; my siblings are also in university, and my parents are stretched thin trying to support us all.

In order to navigate these, I’ve secured a job at a cyber cafe within my school, allowing me to supplement my parental allowance. It’s been a game-changer. With this extra income, I’m now pulling in an additional 10K each month, bringing my total to a more manageable 30K. It’s not lavish, but it’s enough to survive and hunger at bay.

Yet, I’m not content with merely treading water. I’m using this opportunity to upskill myself, preparing for the day when I can secure a remote job. Life is unpredictable, and I refuse to be caught off guard when it comes knocking. By bolstering my financial resources and expanding my skill set, I’m positioning myself to seize whatever opportunities come my way. It’s all about being proactive and ready for whatever life throws at me.



You won’t believe the roller coaster I’ve been on to stay afloat in this economy! So, after my breakup with my girlfriend, I figured I needed a distraction. That’s when I decided to dip my toes into the world of online dating. Little did I know, it would lead me down a rather unexpected path.

Earlier this year, I started receiving messages from wealthy women looking for a little companionship—emphasis on the little, if you catch my drift. It was like stepping into the role of a sugar boy, something I never knew I would dabble in. Growing up as a handsome Igbo boy, I knew firsthand that looks never get you so far; it’s all about the money.

But hey, curiosity got the better of me, and come March, I found myself meeting up with one of these affluent ladies. Let me tell you, the experience was something else! Now, let’s put things into perspective: I’ve got a steady gig in content marketing that brings in around N200K. Yet, just one weekend with this woman, and I pocketed a cool $500. You can do the math with the current exchange rate.

Reflecting on it all, I can’t help but chuckle at the irony, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, right? With the way things are going in this economy, you do what you gotta do to stay afloat. So, call me what you want, but when Tinubu’s got us all feeling the squeeze, a guy’s gotta hustle to survive in University of Abuja.