Valentine: Mixed reactions as naira scarcity hits lover’s day

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo

As Valentine’s Day 2023 draws near, some Nigerians have given mixed reactions about how much they are willing to spend owing to the recent naira scarcity in the country.

Over the years, the lovers’ day has been dedicated to showing love and affection to partners, friends, and family show of love will take certain amounts from the budgets of Nigerians who go all out to surprise their loved ones with gifts and treats.

On the flip side, some visit the less privileged, orphans, widows, and the aged, to show love by spending quality time and sharing gifts with them.

Irrespective of how you chose to celebrate this year’s Valentine’s, a certain amount of money would have to be spent but the current economic situation caused by the naira scarcity could force many to trim their budgets.

The prices of things are on the high side making it difficult for people to purchase non-essential things. Also, transportation cost has risen and the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria have not found a permanent solution permanently address this naira crunch.

As a result, some Nigerians could be forced to ditch their plans or place a cap on their spending this Valentine’s due to the naira scarcity.

However, in an interview with AmBusiness, John Paul, admitted that the naira scarcity may hinder the usual surprises on Valentine’s day.

In Paul’s words, “Nigerians do not like flowers; they would want flower bouquets. People may not be able to make the money bouquet or spray money because new naira notes are scarce. For those that will go out of their way to get it, it will be very expensive.”

In terms of buying things, he feels the cashless policy will not be a problem because most relaxation centres would accept payment through PoS.

“For couples that want to go out but are not mobile, it may affect them as they will have to pay more to get cash and for transportation,” he said.

Another individual identified as Dami said that the naira scarcity would be one of his excuses for not spending on Valentine’s day. He believes the prevailing naira scarcity is meant to save men during this period from spending.

“It is one of the lies we would use to evade the day. When the day comes, we can say the bank transfer is not going through; we do not have cash. I believe God sent the naira crisis for us to escape spending on Valentine’s day. So from Sunday, we will start acting with the lie of not being able to make transfers, ” he said.

In the words of Kingsley, “There is no Valentine because of the scarcity of cash. My girlfriend is reasonable, she will understand. This is why you need a good woman.”

But while interviewing another person identified as Dayo, he said the scarcity would not affect him because he has always purchased without cash.

He said, “There are no excuses for not celebrating most of my things are ordered. If I want to go out I can always use my card. For transport, I use Bolt. I use different banks, so I can always make bank transfers.

“People have advanced, they could operate digitally, so it will not really be a problem. It will affect just transportation, the hike in prices,” Samad’s opinion about the effect of naira scarcity on Valentine’s celebration.

Reflecting on his last Valentine’s day, Lerry, said, “I was in school, I remember it was a school day. After school we went out and we had dinner outside, we went to a lounge and I later surprised her with a gift.”

He continued, “The history of Valentine’s is about giving gifts. In Nigeria Valentine’s Day are exaggerated. Ladies want wigs, shopping, and all. It boils down to the fact that people will rely more on the cashless policy.

“If you want to show love with the current situation in Nigeria, it has to be through cash transfer. Transportation is on the high side, if you are not booking Uber, it won’t be very good to be jumping bikes or buses with your girlfriend.

“For those who want to celebrate materialistically, they will do more transfers. Cash scarcity may not really affect them. You can get vouchers online for the cinema date. You can order meals or book reservations online.”

He added, “I think Nigeria is evolving and people that celebrate Valentine’s would work with the cashless policy.”

However, in the words of Taiwo, “I do not celebrate Valentine’s day, there is nothing to celebrate. The last time I did was in secondary school. I let my girlfriend know that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, she’s aware.”

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