Saturday 5 September 2020

The Fever Is In Your Interest


I was thinking this morning...... I woke up this morning feeling a bit under pressure and slightly feverish but can't say why. As I sat quietly, digging deep into my subconscious to extract the reason for the unusual feeling, it suddenly surfaced like sweet crude from a newly dug oil well in Otumara field. For the last 14 years, my system has settled into the rhythm of paying school fees and seeing my children off to school by the first week in September. By this time last year, like every other year, I was telling someone happy school fees week. This year is different, thanks to the Covid-19 disruption.

As my mind and body was involuntarily responding to the School Fees Fever (SFF) or so I thought, I wondered why. But then, I recalled that Nigerians woke up on Tuesday 1st September to a 100% increase in electricity tariff. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had suddenly increased light bill AKA electricity tariff from 30.23 Naira for one kwh (kilowatt unit of energy per hour) to as much as 62.33 Naira per kwh. At this point, it started making sense that it was not SFF giving me the strange feeling but Electricity Tariff Fever (ETF).

Then on Thursday 3rd September, the reality of the news that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol is now hovering between N160 to N162 per litre dawned on us after filling stations and independent marketers adjusted their retail pump price from N148. In response, I exclaimed 'Oba-jor!' which in my native Itsekiri translates 'no wonder.' Petrol Price Fever (PPF) was also a probable cause of my strange feelings.

Meanwhile, our political benefactors are telling us that the fever is in our interest. Really? Fact is fever could be beneficial. I found out that fever turn on the body's immune system. They help the body fight infection. Normal fevers between 100° and 104° F (37.8° - 40°C) are good for sick children. However, fever with high temperature can trigger a seizure. This is the case with Nigerians. The temperature of Nigerians was almost bursting the thermometer when the prices of food shot up generating another fever called Food Price Fever (FPF) which when combined with ETF and PPF have triggered massive seizures in Nigerians.

Make no mistake, it is not over yet. That the school fees fever (SFF) is delayed does not mean it will not come. It will therefore be wise to prepare so that when schools eventually open, you will not experience another fever to add to FPF, ETF and PPF. While government is saying ETF and PPF are good for us and that FPF is caused by corrupt middle men, the average Nigerian is convulsing. Issorite! I am confident that this seizure that Nigerians are experiencing from multiple layers of fever will not kill us because Psalms 34:19 says 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.' Stay hopeful.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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