Navigating through the storm of “needs”


More often than not, decisions on and plans executed towards meeting needs leads many into being pressured and overwhelmed by this pursuit. Hence, navigating through the storm of conflicting needs and wants may require proper planning and execution.

An average family man in Nigeria is faced with day to day basic needs shelter, clothing, feeding and security for his family, all expected to be met within the constraint of his income which in most times is limited.

A pilot survey of major needs that accounts for a larger portion of family’s streams of income streamlined the list to paying of rents and children school fees amongst others; which will be a major focus of our discussion.

Housing Challenges

Housing has been a major challenge in Nigeria for decades and there seems to be a preponderance of ineffective or motionless housing policies that has led to the inability of government to address the housing challenge.

Housing deficit in the country has been estimated around 20 million in the thought of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president at the unveiling of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Digital Platform at the International Conference Centre, Abuja last year.

Faced with this challenge mostly are the middle and lower income earners, whose incomes are not sufficient enough to adequately cover housing cost hence, necessitating the need to effectively appropriate funds to alleviate the challenge?

Challenge of paying children’s school fees

An average Nigerian parent would love to send their children to very good schools. However this may demand higher cost as relatively, good schools are expensive.

This is not to say however that all expensive schools are good schools but there are higher chances that a cheap school may not deliver the best value to children.

For example, some analysts have argued that current government schools have failed to deliver value to students. Therefore a parent seeking value for their kids would prefer to enroll such in private schools.

BusinessDay speaking with some successful parents who have been able to weather the storm of conflicting needs have this to tell that the challenge isn’t a rocket science.

Here are important points noted by some in response to this

Cut your coat according to your cloth

This is another way to say to plan one’s aims and activities in line with one’s resources and circumstances. Living within one’s income is key in this regards in other to avoid undue pressures.

Research have proven that most people are prone to purchasing ‘‘wants’’ rather than ‘‘needs’’. Needs are something that you must have, in order to live. On the contrary, wants are something that you wish to have, so as to add comforts in your life.

A man coveting to live in a duplex which cost N3.5 million with a gross annual salary of N2 million is basically wanting. If peradventure he gets it through ceasing income opportunities, needs to ask the question of sustainability of such move.

Same goes for the payment of school fees. The cost of a school doesn’t necessarily translate into quality; however the quality of a school may translate to higher cost.

Speaking with Mr James Akinola, a successful civil servant who has trained four children in all school levels indicated that, ‘‘there are still good schools which are within the confine of an average Nigerian income.’’

‘‘what is most important is the seriousness of the kid and the post education parents give their kids when they are back from school,’’ he further explained.

Birth Control

Ironically there is this believe that the poor gives birth to more children than the rich despite being financially handicapped. The financial capability of parents should determine most times the number of kids born into the family.

Across the streets of Lagos are under aged children hawking and struggling to survive. Although sex is regarded as a basic need of man, preventive measures can be put in place to prevent a child coming into the world to suffer.

With fast rising population in the country which is estimated to grow to about 402 million people in 2050 according to the Census Bureau of the United States and rising unemployment rate, there is more pressure on the nation’s resources.

Analysis has shown that growth in GDP is slow compared to growth in population leaving more Nigerians poorer by the day.

In conclusion, analysts also further advice for multiple streams of income to help reduce the pressure of conflicting needs.

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