February 6, 2023

Naira, petrol scarcity: Group cautions government over repeat of #EndSARS crisis

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, the ministers and governors at the Lekki Tollgate where peaceful EndSARS protesters were shot at by soldiers on Tuesday, October 20.

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – AS the non-availability of redesigned naira notes and petrol continue to bite on the people, a group Young CEO Initiative has cautioned the federal government, state governors and others in authority to tread with caution avoid another the 2020 #EndSARS crisis in Nigeria that led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.

   Speaking to journalists in Benin City on the twin issues of naira redesigning and scarcity of petrol, founder of the Initiative, Aigbe Omoregie said the policy of the new naira was good but the timing was wrong.

   He said “The #EndSARS crisis started just like we are presently experiencing, it started gradually and then metamorphosed into a larger scale that we all saw. Had the government addressed those issues on time such incidents would have been averted but they didn’t. 

   “Today you can see that there is so much crisis in the country going on; the fuel that we use to buy a N165 per litre is now N500 to N650 per litre and who suffers this the most, it is the common man on the streets.

   “That is not the only issue, the new naira scarcity came in; today we are all asked to return our money back to the banks, the only thing that we have going for us in this country, is the availability of cash, the common man on the street depends on that, the labourers working in the sites depend on that, the woman selling tomato depends on that, the truck pusher depends on that because at the end of the day, they are sure of getting their N3000 to take home and on their way they can buy tomatoes, they can buy okra and they have something to take home to their children but today the reverse is the case. Our banking halls have been filled with people; people are hungry, people are angry. To the CBN governor, your policy is good to reduce the excess money in circulation but the timing is wrong; people are suffering because it is only when you have a country that is peaceful that you will be able to conduct elections.”

    On the coming elections, Omoregie who is the founder of Intercontinental Paints said none of the presidential candidates have unveiled their plans for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) a sector he said generates the largest employment spaces in the country.