Crude prices have fallen by 75%, and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, is now losing money by pumping it. Just last week, the government announced it’s looking to borrow up to $9 billion to plug the gaps in its shrinking finances.
The slump has led to massive cuts in foreign currency, and exchange dealers offering rates much higher than the official 199 naira (₦) per U.S. dollar. Imported goods are quickly becoming unaffordable.
Now, Nigerians are taking to Twitter to bring their economy back from the brink. They’re using the hashtags #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira and #BuyNigerian to promote local goods and services, in the hope that it will bring a much-needed boost to the nation’s economy.
Championing “Naija” Products
To encourage more Nigerians to buy homegrown goods, Twitter users are showcasing everything from “Made in Nigeria” sunglasses to buses and beds.
Promoting Nigerian Pride
For some, #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira is about being proud of Nigerian brands, and encouraging start up businesses to provide jobs for the young.
While a few have taken to Twitter to complain about the low quality of Nigerian goods compared to imports, others say buying Nigerian goods will eventually lead to better products.
#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira warps the concept of patriotism if we are asked to buy substandard productshttps://twitter.com/cremechic11/status/697728863665844224 …
14-No nation is an island, but if we fly Nigerian airlines, eat local food and patronize our football league we can#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira
The Nigerian government currently gets 75% of its revenue from the oil sector. It is now planning to invest in infrastructure projects to bring about major economic reform by making the country less dependent on oil.