The sweep of COVID-19 across cities in Nigeria is causing a rise in panic among citizens. It began weeks ago, with the ridiculous spike in price of hand sanitizers, and then the scarcity of these sacred sanitary products.


Just when it seemed like Nigeria was doing well handling the index case of the popular virus, we’ve recorded an increasing spike of infected persons in the past week.

Add the saturation of media with COVID-19 content, great enough to scare anyone, and with the recent speculations (which was confirmed on Tuesday) that the local markets will be closing operations, and you’ll get Nigerians, panic-buying.

So what really should a person buy in these uncertain times? Especially as the reality of confinement is becoming real in some Nigerian cities. The answer is definitely not panic-buying hand sanitizers.


Here’s what you should really be stocking on;

Rice and Pasta: forget every criticism that has been made about your excessive consumption of rice. This is the one situation where stocking on rice is permitted. Walk into the nearest supermarket or call up your customer from the local market and stock enough rice to last at least two weeks from now. Pastas like spaghetti, macaroni, and noodles, are also choice foods to consider stocking on.

Dried Fruits and Nuts: there’s never a better choice. Because of the nature of dried fruits, and food in general, they are guaranteed to last months and years depending on how they are processed. So stock up on those dried fruits, like groundnut, coconut, pineapple. Dried fish and meat are also excellent items to invest in.


Cereals and Snacks: There are bound to be times during the confinement period when you’ll be too tired to make a proper meal. Cereals as well as other snacks will come in handy.

Milk (Evaporated or Condensed): Because how can you survive the lockdown without enough milk? Invest in your preferred milk brand and buy up a month or two week’s supply. If you’re a beverage person, maybe throw in a reasonable quantity of those.

Frozen Foods: should you be considering going down the frozen food route, ask yourself what the electricity supply is like in your neighborhood. If it’s poor, maybe defer on frozen foods. However, should you have a decent supply of electricity as well as alternatives, you may want to buy some frozen foods like chicken, meat, seafood, fruits, and fries to store.

Drinking Water Supply: What’s your trusted supply of drinking water? Is it tap, dispenser, bottled, or sachet? Whichever is the case, it’s advisable to stock up enough on drinking water. Keep in mind that you (and, or your household) will be consuming more quantity of water since you’ll all be on lockdown. Remember to check that the water source you’re purchasing is in good condition and that its expiry date is at least in six-month’s time.


Essential Medication: Should you or anyone in your household be on constant medication, it’s best to purchase these drugs in sufficient quantities. Supplies for diabetic, asthmatic etc patients for instance, should be purchased from a trusted pharmacy well ahead of time.

Additionally, take note to stock up on general drugs such as painkillers; Ibuprofen, Panadol etc and menstrual cramp drugs like Felvin and Diclofenac.

Toilet Paper: Because you’ll be doing some more toilet business during this period. Stock up on toilet paper sufficient for a month.

Soap, Hand Sanitizer, and Cleaning Agents: Remember that the coronavirus thrives in unclean places. Hand-washing soaps, hand sanitizers, surface cleaners, detergents, are some essentials to add to your shopping cart.


Essential Children Supply: If you have kids or toddlers, it’s important to stock up on their essentials. Baby formulas, diapers, baby wipes, creams, oils, toys, are a few examples of items to consider when shopping for your kids.

Internet Subscription: Not just for Netflixing and chilling but sorting out a suitable internet plan will be quite useful for employees working remotely. You’re more likely to be consuming more data on video calls, and virtual meetings. Of course, there’s also Netflix and chill on the times you’ll just want to relax and have some fun.

Light Subscription: Yes, make sure you sort out the electricity subscription. You do not want to go about this lockdown in darkness do you?

Entertainment: This involves taking care of every subscription concerning entertainment. Cable, Netflix, Amazon, Iroko Tv, and so on are some examples of entertainment plans you want to conclude on.


Do Not

As much as it’s advisable to stock up during COVID-19, try as much as possible not to panic-buy. You might end up with items you do not necessarily need. The best guide when shopping during this pandemic is really to keep your list to basic needs and discard purchasing items you do not necessarily need.

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