…alleges masses impoverishment by politicians
….laments high cost of rice, other foodstuff, and increased electricity tariff

By Gabriel Ewepu

AS Nigerians continue to feel the excruciating pain of abject poverty and depression with no help in sight, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Tuesday, opposed proposed hike in Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, pump price.

Speaking with Vanguard on state of the nation as the year winds up, the Country Director, AAN, Ene Obi, while lamenting the high cost of a 50 kilogramme of rice and other foodstuff including electricity tariff, said the Nigerian system remains insensitive to the plight of poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

Ene said: “The Nigerian system is a very insensitive system to the plight of the poor and the less privileged. The Federal Government admitted that 100 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line. What else does this government wants? The government came in with a bag of rice selling at N8, 000, and today the same 50 kilogramme of rice is selling at N35, 000. What do we want from Nigerians? Do we want their blood?

“The salary of a federal civil servant who is paid N30, 000 is not able to buy a bag of rice. COVID-19 came down and pushed more people down the line, which means the population of the poor has increased, and we are trying to lift people out of poverty. Is that the way to go?

“The increment in electricity tariff no that the system has really changed, many things have improved around the country, and we are paying more than twice more than what we paying and you are telling us subsidy and having the background of labour, there is nothing like subsidy because we produce crude in this country, because of corruption the refineries here in Nigeria are not working. What a generation of failure are we? Why are the refineries not working? You don’t compare your price of fuel with the rest of the world as a producer of crude oil. It is painful. We are not working hard to bring down inflation in this country.

“When they wanted to increase pump price of fuel we kicked against it but nobody listened and there is huge disconnect between the political class and the masses, and the masses remain poor, and there is huge unemployment already, we have crisis in the nation, we have a huge youth bulge that I say is an engine-room for development, and what are we planning for them, rather the unemployment gap is widening, and that alone is an anecdote for crisis, insecurity, and our leaders don’t listen?

“We are running a generator economy, and we are still battling with electricity while we have dams that can do that for us. If we don’t engineer and do something like miracle to jumpstart different areas of our economy we are going to have problem with our youths, and it is so unfortunate.”

She also spoke on the collapsed educational system in the country, “We have to do something for education. Building more schools will not solve it, and we need to bring down the inequality gap. Many are looting, while governors cannot pay salaries. We need to correct this by making policies that are sensitive to the plight of the people.”


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