The sociopolitical and economic situations in Nigeria have continued to create various problems which in many cases have gone beyond explanations and have had many negative impacts on the social and economic divisions that are being eroded as a result of biting effects brought about by the development.
Many years ago when the situation in Nigeria was quite a better one, it was very easy to classify people based on their economic and social statuses and this classification was very obvious based on the purchasing power that the people possessed and the type of lifestyle they were living.
View pictures in App save up to 80% data. So it was not unusual then to easily categorise people into three statuses: the Upper Class, the Middle Class and the Lower Class. Those who belonged to the Upper Class were the extremely rich and affluent who included manufacturers, captains of industry, business men and women, bank executives, among others, who also lived in upscale areas in many parts of the country.
There were also the Middle Class who are mainly those that could also be regarded as working class people whose incomes were able to match their levels of consumption that can be regarded as fairly high. They were able to afford paying rents in upscale areas and they were also able to send their children to good schools.
The third category were the Lower Class who, as the description suggests, were at the lowest level of the economic and social ladder. They barely had enough to sustain themselves, their families and they also lived in crowded neighbourhoods while their children were only able to attend public schools and some private schools with very low fees.
However, it seems the current situation in the country has eroded this categorisation of the statuses as there are indications that following the biting economic hardship, the Middle Class category is gradually being wiped out while the status seems to have been redefined which has now become just the Upper Class and the Lower Class.
It is now very common nowadays to see the hitherto people who belonged to the Middle Class gradually slipping into the Lower Class level following the economic hardship people are facing in the country. Most people who hitherto belonged to the Middle Class are nowadays unable to afford the necessities of life that they were enjoying before.
While it is an indisputable fact that many people in the Upper Class continue to maintain their status as the very rich and affluent, this seems not to be the case with those who were in the Middle Class as they are almost on a daily basis slipping badly from the Middle Class into the Lower Class category as a result of the hardship and the biting economic situation.
It is also a fact that many people who were in the Middle Class category have withdrawn their children from some of the high fees paying schools to moderately paying ones.
Some of those who used to drive good cars have abandoned them at the various mechanic workshops due to high costs of vehicle spare parts, while many have moved out of their high paying accommodations due to exorbitant rent and have moved to areas with moderate rents.
Apart from this, many people hitherto in the Middle Class have lost their jobs as a result of the economic situation in the country and it is not uncommon nowadays to see a former banker who has lost his job using his car for commercial purposes, trying everything possible to put food on his family’s table.
Also, some of those who are still working have, in some cases, not received salaries for up to six months or more in some cases, leading to their inability to fulfil all necessary financial and other obligations.
These and some others are what makes me to always ask if the Middle Class category which some people belonged to in the past is not disappearing gradually as the classification nowadays seems to be just the Upper Class and the Lower Class while the Middle Class seems to be no longer in existence.
This is however a debatable issue.