Many Nigerians have complained to President Bola Tinubu that they are suffocating due to the skyrocketing inflation and resulting extremely high cost of life.
They asked the president to rise up to the rising cost of living, economic hardship and galloping inflation in the country immediately by offering succour to the common Nigerians that have been left behind by the administration, reports Saturday Sun.
In separate interviews with this paper, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, Publicity Secretary of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse, Public Affairs Analyst, Convener Reset Lagos PDP, and Chief Goddy Uwazurike, President of the non-governmental organisation Cultural Credibility and Development Initiative (CCDI), all noted that life had become increasingly difficult for all Nigerians and unbearable for many since May 29.
“Nigerians are going through hell in the real sense of it,” Dr. Dogo informed our correspondent. There is nothing that you buy today and you go back, two days later and the price has not increased. It just doesn’t add up.
Everything in the country has been affected by the loss of the fuel subsidy and the currency rate, and many people believe the president should have left it in place.
Dogo also found fault with the pay rise given to federal workers to help soften the blow of the subsidy cut, pointing out that it did not apply to those working for state governments or in the private sector.
Workers in the Federal Government’s employ are being discussed when the topic of a minimum wage rise is brought up again and again. What about public and private sector employees who work for states? That protection does not extend to them. Dogo wondered aloud, “Who tends to them?”
To curb the rising cost of petrol, he suggested that the federal government take immediate, intermediate, and long-term action.
According to Dr. Pearse, the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy had a domino effect on prices across the board.
He said: “The elimination of subsidy on the day of the president’s inauguration started the downhill spiral. The price of petrol tripled, and so did the price of everything else. The rate of inflation skyrocketed. The amount of FDI has decreased. The high expense of doing business in Nigeria has led to a huge exodus of companies in recent years. The unemployment rate has skyrocketed and poverty levels have increased as a direct result of this. The decline of the Nigerian currency is the most striking indicator of the economic collapse in Nigeria. In May 2023, when Tinubu took office, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Nigerian naira was N450 to $1 and N750 to $1, respectively. Six months into Tinubu’s presidency, the naira has dropped to an all-time low of 750 to 1 and 1/1000. The GDP of the country, which under Jonathan had grown to be the strongest in Africa in 2014, has now fallen to its lowest level ever recorded. On Tinubu’s watch, the Nigerian economy is teetering on the brink of catastrophe.
Dr. Pearse also criticised the Tinubu administration for its ineffectiveness in protecting its citizens.
“Every day we hear horrific reports of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, and abduction of travellers, as well as the murder of law enforcement personnel, the kidnapping of schoolchildren, and the imprisonment of farmers for ransom by terrorists who forbid them from accessing their farms. It’s unfortunate to say, but Tinubu’s government has cast a pall over Nigeria.
The president would do well to recognise his own poor judgement as a starting point. He needs to undo the elimination of the oil subsidy. He ought to investigate bribery and other forms of wrongdoing in the oil business. As opposed to the unilateral elimination of the petrol subsidy that is creating so much suffering for the population and destroying the economy, this is what the International Monetary Fund advocated. The President should stop blaming his predecessor for the poor economy and start taking responsibility for his actions.
We must raise taxes since our country’s foreign reserve is at an all-time low. There are many ways to accomplish this. We need to diversify our revenue stream beyond crude oil by exploring for and extracting alternative resources including uranium, gold, bauxite, natural gas, bitumen, and lithium. We must also cease paying lip service to boosting the agriculture industry. Investing in a more mechanised and sophisticated agricultural system can boost national income, lower food prices, and create jobs, especially for young people.
“It will be required to boost revenue and also save on what is available in order to enhance the economy. To this purpose, the President should seek reimbursement from government agencies like FIRS, NIMASA, and NPA for the billions of naira in unpaid and uncollected royalties.
In light of the current economic climate, President Tinubu should see the importance of economising whenever possible. He needs to cut back on his extravagant spending habits, including giving politicians cars costing N169 million each and buying pricey yachts. There must also be an intentional attempt to lower the price of government. During these times of austerity, it is insensitive to select around 50 ministers and hundreds of ministerial and National Assembly assistants. The President should set an excellent example.
So far, the president has paid little attention to the disastrous state of national security. In fact, he seems completely overwhelmed. Devolution of security authorities to the states is one key policy that can enhance the security condition in the country.
Security in the state would be improved, he said, if the states were given the authority to form their own police, community police, and neighbourhood police. The extra benefit of new jobs created is another plus.
Uwazurike added that the country’s hunger and anger were reaching crisis proportions.
“The Tinubu government knows that the economy is teetering on the precipice, but it chose to pretend that all is well,” he stated. My counsel is straightforward and direct – get genuine and be practical. Peter Obi provided a steady stream of economic analysis and reform proposals. Obi advised that money be borrowed for industrial purposes exclusively, and never spent. He suggested we make things to sell abroad to bring in some more cash. There are two easy fixes, but APC refuses to hear them.
When the APC administration closed the borders, it effectively put out of business all small-scale producers. Due to the high production costs, the international firms left. Tinubu must seek out legitimate producers for negotiations. Money borrowed from banks and foreign exchange are considered manufacturing costs. The assurance of these two factors is crucial for the revival of the manufacturing sector. People will get jobs in the companies and be able to make a living wage. The multiplier effect will make it easier for the average person to escape the poverty level the APC, under Buhari, pushed this country into and is viciously protecting under Tinubu.
Highway robbery is what Trader Money is all about, as is its distribution of cash to the poor and its palliative effects.
While it is buying SUVs, yachts, etc. for government employees, this government is telling the people to tolerate the poverty till things improve. The divide between the governed and the government is like a glass ceiling. Even while we starve to death, we can make out the government officials who are responsible.
This same APC is working hard to prevent the child of low-income families from affording higher education. The artisan often travels long miles without food, and those who rely on generators often go without because they cannot afford to buy gasoline. The governed are suffocating under the weight of the government. Those who participated in round trips under Buhari are now living comfortably off their illicit gains. You might as well go after them. Says Uwazurike.