…For every thing under the sun, there is a time and there is a season, as well as a reason …
I have just read the following on Linda Ikeji Blog.
The Price Of Tomato Has Crashed From N25,000 To N800 A Basket. Few Months Ago, The Price Of The Essential Commodity Skyrocketed Following The Spread Of Tuta Absoluta Also Known As ‘tomato Ebola’ In Most Of The States That Plant And Harvest Tomatoes In Large Quantities. As Of This Morning, A Basket Of Tomato In Kaduna Sold For As Low As N800
While the quoted price of ₦800 looks highly suspicious and unbelievable, that’s not the focus of this article. The point is, prices have fallen drastically, suddenly.
Immediately, my mind went to yesterday evening when my wife showed me some pepper and tomatoes she bought, and exclaimed with amazement how much cheaper tomatoes have become, compared to some recent past when most Nigerians could not afford to buy fresh tomatoes and had to make do without them, embracing tomato paste instead, or simply putting more onions in place of tomatoes.. . to water down the ‘pepperishness ‘ in stews.
During the acute period of tomatoes when Nigeria was importing tomatoes, I asked in amazement,
Is It That If I Plant Tomato In My Backyard, It Won’t Grow? Why Then Are We Buying A Single Tomato For ₦100?
I remember there was a time when SiM cards sold for as much as ₦25,000 apiece. That was when the Naira was still Naira, and not tissue paper, when DSTv would sell its decoder for ₦45,000 and some telecommunications companies like StarComms and CellCom sold desktop telephones sets for as high as ₦145,000. These are things which prices crashed deeply, and you wonder about Economics.
What influenced the original sky high prices of items?. Why would decoders and SIMs be dirt cheap now, despite the massive depreciation of the Naira over time?
Why do you now have Nigerian telecommunications companies outdoing themselves to offer dirt cheap data, when there was a time ₦1,000 got you some measly 250MB of data, despite the value of the Naira?
It can only mean that some companies have been making obscene profit in the past, just because they could, and the timing was right / salubrious
The lessons I can take away from all these are :
THE PATIENT DOG EATS THE FATTEST BONE
Good things come to those who learn to be patient, and bide their time. Perhaps you rushed to buy / preorder that cutting edge smartphone. Or, maybe you were one of the first to rush to own one of those ritziest cars in town…that one you saw advertised on CNN, and had to get first, to show-off to your friends in the club?.
Unless you are so rich that watching your finances embarrasses you, being the first (or earliest) to adopt anything has its perils, as you would likely be paying more than you would if you would just take a chill pill and avoid the rat race.
STRIKE THE IRON WHILE IT IS HOT
Money can be made rapidly when we capitalize on an opportunity.. on time There is a phrase called window of opportunity for a reason. Opportunities are often time-limited.
While I don’t believe the saying that opportunity comes but once, the fact remains that some specific opportunities are so fleeting that only the fleet of foot can take advantage of such. Waste time, and that particular opportunity is gone for good.
A good stock is about to come into the market (MTN is about to get listed on the NSE). How swift are you in taking advantage of the imminent hot deal? Tomato was excruciating expensive in Nigeria. Did you respond to cash in on the scarcity quickly enough, or you dilly dallied until the window of opportunity closed?
MONEY IS NOT REAL
If you bought a SiM card for N25,000 ten years ago during the crazy rush /scarcity, that same money could buy you a top of the range Smartphone today, with change to spare.
It then shows that a specific amount of money is linked to the era in question. A billionaire in Nigeria today may be a mere millionaire in the sixties. That stock you bought in UAC in 1972 that has grown 100 times may not have grown at all.. in real terms! A brand new car could be bought for under ₦200,000 in the early nineties, while that same amount would not pay the comprehensive insurance premium of that same car today.
Yes; time is truly money.