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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

THE IGBOS AND CHRISTMAS TRANSPORT PRICE HIKES

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IGBO CHRISTMAS TRAVELLERS


THE IGBOS AND CHRISTMAS TRANSPORT PRICE HIKES



The purpose of this write up is to help the reader understand why price hikes about this time in Igboland is normal and in keeping with the free market enterprise business philosophy of the Igbo fore Fathers and to show how our fore fathers balanced this philosophy with a social philosophy that enables both the investor and the poor to survive price hikes. A wise reader will be inspired to develop ministry ideas that would promote the wellbeing of the people on such occasions as Christmas season and new yam festivals.



The Igbo market philosophy is "Ore ere bu Eze, Ozu azu bu Eze" meaning that "the seller is king, the buyer is King". This is called Free Market enterprise or republican capitalism. In order words, the market forces of demand and supply in which the buyer and seller are chief actors determine the prevailing prices. For example, yam is always more expensive during the planting season than during the harvest season because while the demand increases during the planting season, the supply does not. In the same manner, the supply of yams during the harvest season increases while the demand falls and this brings the prices of yam down. 



The same analyses can be made of transport or any other business in which the Igbo is involved. With millions of Igbo going to Igboland to celebrate Christmas and New year, it is not unexpected that transport prices will increase significantly. There are practical reasons for this which include the unidirectional movement towards Igboland depriving the transporters the normal income from a multi-directional movement. 

This has nothing to do with people loving themselves or not loving themselves; it is the way God and our forefathers had negotiated business life to be. Remember Jacob wrestling with God for blessing? When the Igbo speaks about his business philosophy, he concludes with "Chineke bu Eze" meaning God is King. In other words, he invites himself to remember that God is also watching whether the transaction is fair and will ultimately judge the greedy and extortionist.




How then does the Igbo show love on such occasions when price hikes are inevitable? The Igbo forefathers established a social philosophy known as "Onye aghala Nwanne ya" meaning "No one should leave his brother behind". I can assure you that half of those travelling to Igboland for Christmas and New year are doing so because an Igbo acted in love towards another Igbo. 

The same applies to all the food that will be eaten during this occasion and all the community projects that will be initiated or executed.
Igbo love themselves. Igbo also love others! These are the commands of God to our fore fathers. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. Love your neighbor as yourself.



For those who are concerned about the price hikes, rather than expend your energy lamenting every year, apply that mental energy to developing creative ways of providing transport support for the poor during that season. Lamenting and complaining will not make any difference because as far as the Igbo remains, its market and social philosophy will not change because it is rooted in how God has designed the world to function in its fallen state.

But this we can be sure of, When God comes to redeem this broken world, the greedy and extortionists as well as the LAZY will not share in that new world.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!  


By Josh Amaezechi


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