Continued Naira scarcity can lead to mental illness among Nigerians - Expert

Ben Arikpo

Mr Ben Arikpo, Founder, Brain Training and Development Centre

By Cecilia Ijuo

Mr Ben Arikpo, the Founder, Brain Training and Development Centre, has expressed concern over the mental health of Nigerians following lingering Naira scarcity and other issues.

Arikpo said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said banks opening on Saturdays and Sundays was good, adding that efforts should be made to end the stress of lingering queues and unresponsive banking channels.

According to him, more needs to be done to ensure that people have access to cash without having to queue all day long.

The expert said the Naira scarcity was compounding the many challenges of an average Nigerian, leading to mental health issues.

“There is an increased concern about mental health globally but the intensity of the problem is dependent on how the stressors are managed.

“An average Nigerian for instance has so much to grapple with, ranging from Naira and fuel scarcity to high cost of things.

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“If you own a property, for instance, you dig your borehole, pay for electricity pole, metre and other things.

“The day you do not pay your bills, AEDC will disconnect the power supply and tell you it is their property.

“These stressors have put so much pressure on Nigerians, leading to anxiety and various forms of aggressive behaviours that are injurious to mental health,” he said.

Arikpo said “unfortunately in Nigeria, not so much attention is paid to citizen’s mental health.

“This is one aspect of our health that we must pay attention to as a people because it has a lot to do with our overall well-being,” he said.

He said it was important for the government to implement policies that are friendly to the people to save them from mental ill-health.

The mental health expert said that in the USA recently, two major banks crashed and the government stepped in and took over the liability of those banks.

He said that the U.S. government’s action would leave individual account holders in those banks with little or no losses.

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