“Everyone in the country was in shock. People’s net worth had devalued more than 53% overnight. The value in savings accounts dropped in half and neither merchants nor consumers knew how to react because they had never been through anything like it before.“-StackerX
While watching and listening to Gabriel Suswan,the Governor of Benue state,a Nigerian North Central state,struggle to justify the economic gloom responsible for the States’ failure to pay salaries of public officers for three months and thereafter few days to Christmas and the recent announcement of currency devaluation three days ago by the Nigerian Federal Government due to falling income from crude oil sales(Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala advised the people not to panic though),I know it’s not well in the well of currency depreciation.
However, unlike the “consumers and merchants” in StackerX’s quote above who don’t know what to do, you will definitely know what to do after reading these 20 simple steps that will give you the edge for economic survival during currency devaluation.
1.If you have more cash savings in naira, it’s time you open a domicilliary account and start moving your funds into the account in more stable foreign currencies like US dollars.
2.If you have to pay for rents, leases, children school fees etc., it’s better to pay for longer periods of years or full session(s) which attract discounts that you won’t have to carry the burden of the devaluation with your landlord or school proprietor.If you are the landlord or school proprietor, “shine your eyes” and demand for payment for shorter periods.
3.If there’s a particular foreign material your business depends on,it’s time you start looking for local alternative supply.Why? By the time government raises tax, import duties, add these costs to the depreciation of your currency then your business and supply chain for that material is in disarray!
4.If you are presently surviving on exotic/ innovator brand medicines like Exforge for managing cardiovascular conditions, it’s time you make friends with your community pharmacist for efficacious and quality generic brands that are bioequivalent to your exotic brands of medicine.
5.Do you have existing loans with your bankers? It appears late for you to do anything about the increased interest rates but it is not too late to see them immediately for a loan repayment restructuring for you to elongate repayment beyond the period when the devaluation bite hardest.
6.If you are just applying for a bank loan, it’s better you consider and take overdraft (O.D) or tenured loan before plunging into a Project Financing Loan agreement.
7.If you have to shop,it’s better you do online shopping.Why? You will have a great chance to compare prices and brands from your phone and even opt to pay on delivery of the product thus you make savings on your money, time and energy all at the same time!
8.You must improve the way you handle and maintain your possessions that are foreign-made.It is definitely going to cost more to outrightly replace your cars, phones, wears, electronic gadgets etc or rectify faults with genuine spare parts.
9.Expect wage increase demand from your employees and more resistance to wage increase demand by your employer.It’s time for all parties to be enlightened on the economic implications of currency devaluation before someone becomes the scapegoat!
10.On the need for multiple streams of income?It’s’s now time to look for profitable business opportunities along the value chain of your existing business/experience and execute.Here,the book”1000+ Practical Business Ideas and Directory of Money Sources” will be handy.
11.This is not the time to joke with your debt-recovery strategies. Anyone owing you now must be willing to compensate you for the devaluation effects on the loan value on repayment of the debt. N1000 today may be N500 in few weeks and probably N100 months down the line! (God forbid! in the late talented artist Sam Loco’s voice).
12.Now, it will cost more to persuade consumers to buy so this is an excellent time to take special interests in adopting or providing cheap but effective advertising/marketing solutions to companies. There’s little or no economic wonder a high advert budget can do when a majority of people have low disposable income.
13.List 10 most expensive products/services that drain your personal income. Find out three reasons why you can do without them. You may soon find out that you can actually do without such expenses!
14.Phone is a great invention but it’s time to get maximum value from your credit using text messages and over cheap social media platforms with direct messaging services like Twitter, Whazzap etc.Voice calls should be used only when necessary and remember to switch off your mobile data when your mobile devices are not in use.
15.It is time to join credible business interests/support groups and professional/trade groups.They will serve you as economic pressure group umbrella for your business interests, provide alternative cheap funds and networking opportunities. It will serve you well.
16.Don’t offload your good/blue chips stocks yet. Keep your eyes on the stock market prices.Now,the stock market would attract foreign funds as the equities are currently cheap and dollar would give more naira. If you are an investor, it’s now late for you to pull out.For good reason, it’s time to buy more, ask your stockbroker today.
17.Query all bank charges in your account statement.Try as much as possible to make sure that all your expenses are reciepted.
18.Keep your eyes on your stock supplies and suppliers to avoid any”surprises”.
19.Exit tax rate will go up for Nigerian-based international companies interested in repatriating their accumulated dollars to their home countries. Those companies are best bet to do business with during currency devaluation.Keep your eyes on them and if you have to do business with them, indicate that you will prefer to be paid in dollars if such opportunities are available.
20.Don’t trust the politicians when next they say”we are not going to devalue the naira”.Who creates and releases the Jini called inflation?
The individuals who cast their lots with the tender mercies of the political class must either break free or perish.
Sunkanmi Vaughan is the author of the authoritative and most comprehensive business opportunity handbook “1000+ Practical Business Ideas and Directory of Money Sources