Mr Chris Eze, Chairman, GSM Village, Handsets and Accessories Dealers’ Association, Abuja said the government should have sought citizens’ input before the hike in electricity tariff, pump prize and other essential services.
Eze disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, in implementing such policies that will have a direct impact on the masses, it is necessary to have citizens’ input.
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“Government should make plans for the poor masses when it wants to bring any policy at all, the masses should be included.
“Another issue is that of lawmakers if they are making laws for the masses, there should be a debate to know exactly what the people want.
“If it is very necessary for them to do it, let them do it in a way that people will not feel it, they could plan it in phases, if they want to peg it at N180 they can do it in such a way that people will not feel it.
“We are coming out of a pandemic, why should they increase the price of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit), they should have waited till next year let people recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“In Nigeria, you know that anything that affects fuel price will definitely affect everything else, transportation, foodstuff, virtually everything,’’ Eze said.
The market leader called on the government to have a plan for the country that would affect the people positively.
“Government should have a plan of action, it could be in the long term, medium-term or short term, but there must be a plan and the people should be carried along.
“Let them involve the masses; people should know what they want to achieve by their actions so that all of us will be carried along, not planning without letting the people know.
“Before you know it now another issue will come up and all this money that the government is trying to get from this subsidy, they will divert it to another thing and people will still suffer.
“That is not solving the problem, it is even creating more problems; every country has a future plan.’’
Speaking on lessons learnt from the pandemic, Eze said he had learnt the necessity of saving for the future.
“As an individual, I have learnt a very big lesson, I did not believe it that one day everybody will be indoor, no going out, no religious activities, it taught me a lesson that I should save for tomorrow.
Eze said the pandemic exposed the country’s lack of preparedness to handle disasters and urged the government to prepare adequately for such eventualities.