BY TONY EDIKE
ENUGU—SENATOR Chris Nwabueze Ngige has said the elites and politicians elected to occupy various positions in the country were not fair to the Nigerian masses.
Ngige, who represents Anambra Central senatorial district, also blamed the security challenges being faced by the nation on the failure of people in charge of governance to make policies that would improve on the life of the commoners.
Speaking with newsmen in Enugu, Ngige, who was elected on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said the high level of insecurity in the country was a clear symptom of a bad government.
He said: “Those of us who are elected to serve the people are not fair to the masses. We are not alone in this; the elites are also included, because they have also not been fair to the downtrodden.
”In terms of management of the economy, in terms of provision of basic infrastructure such as water, roads, health facilities, we have been found wanting.
”So, the insecurity we have in Nigeria is a consequence of failure of government to address critical issues affecting the people. If you have malaria, you are expected to have fever and other things as symptoms.
”Similarly, that is the situation we have in Nigeria. Insecurity is one of the symptoms showing that there is bad governance in the land. It is a symptom of a bigger disaster called bad leadership and corruption.”
Continuing, Senator Ngige said “we must change to a government that can provide employment, a government that can provide basic needs of the people of this country.”
On the contentious petroleum subsidy, Ngige cautioned against hasty withdrawal of subsidy before proper arrangement that could cushion the effect were made.
”There is no subsidy at all; what they are calling subsidy is tissues of corruption; they dash people money because they have imported petroleum products and have built up those products with hemorrhage at the ports and all of that, after that one they also share another one internally.
”So government should be able to tell us how the subsidy money rose from N250 billion in 2009, 2010 to N1.3 trillion, under nine months in 2011.
”Besides, you can’t put the cat before the horse. If you want to deregulate, which is good, you must first of all be able to produce some of the products. ”The refineries must be made to work even if it means concessioning them out to oil companies”.
“We must be able to produce good products that will compete with imported ones, if we remove subsidy before fulfilling these conditions, then those cartel that we couldn’t fight will also go into price fixing and then sell petrol to us at N200 per litre and government will say they are powerless’, Ngige said.