Students in tertiary institutions under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students NANS, Zone B, South-South/South-East have rejected the hike in price of fuel and electricity tariff by the President Buhari-led administration.
The students who took to the streets today in Warri, Delta State to protest and express their displeasure over the development, described the increase as an anti-people people policy since it is ill-timed.
Speaking to journalists, the Coordinator, NANS Zone B, Comrade Jeremiah Friday Ohomah, of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, said that Nigerian students feel the pain of the masses and were on the streets to call on the Buhari administration to ensure that the price of fuel and electricity tariffs are reversed back.
He added: “Electricity has been the means of survival, don’t increase it. Nigerians have lost jobs arising from the pandemic. VAT and other tariff increased is inhuman. We need palliative, not hikes! The educational sector has been abandoned. Everything around the life of the masses depends on PMS and for now, they must make it affordable.
“The deregulation and removal of fuel subsidy is a good thing, but the time is not right. The government rather than considering only the economy that would have influenced this decision ought to know that these hikes will bring about a hike in the cost of living because every commodity will be increased and this will bring about more sufferings for Nigeria.
“The president must not give the masses the impression that it was a mistake voting for him. No excuse is good enough for the removal. They should be considering how to stabilize the masses that were dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
They should be thinking about how to improve our lives. They cannot be trying to solve a problem by removing the subsidy and create another problem for citizens which will be hunger and more hardship.
“Many lost their jobs and businesses because of the pandemic. Students are thinking of how they will pay their rents, school fees and many other bills.”
According to him, students will take to the streets if the government of the day refuses to listen to their call. “We played a major role as students to birth the present-day democracy that everyone is enjoying,” he opined.
He continued: “Recently, monies were released to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to solve the issues of palliatives. The masses did not feel the impact of the said funds. Many nations assisted us financially. We are yet to see the impact of those funds in the lives of the masses.”
“Our coming out today is in line with the directive from our Global President, Comrade Danielson Bamideke Akpan. NANS protests will hold in the six geopolitical zones. Some did theirs too before today. We will be back to the streets if nothing changes,” he said.
In the same vein, Comrade Oturu Sovereignty, Director of Programs and Niger Delta Affairs, NANS Zone B, said the hikes were illogical.
His words: “It is wicked for the Federal Government to increase fuel. Imagine increasing electricity tariffs when we don’t even see power in many of our homes. For us in NANS it is a big no. We condemn and reject the increase. Many lost their jobs during the pandemic.”
Continuing, he said that Nigerian students will shut down the streets and the economy if the FG refuses to listen to them.
“Before they increase electricity tariff we should be enjoying stable power supply. Go to some places, no one stays there yet they send light bills to the houses.
“Our rents as students are there running. Truth is when schools reopen, there is going to be a big war between landlords and students.
“Buhari should think of how to better the lives of Nigerian students and Nigerian citizens. We are not happy sitting at home and now they want to add salt to injury with this increase.”
Meanwhile, the text of a recent press conference by the Global President of NANS on the 10th of September, 2020, urged the FG to reverse hikes in electricity and petroleum pricing or face mass protests.