Buhari gave Nigerians 60th independence ‘gift of woes’ in fuel, electricity price hike – Kogi lawmaker

A member representing Kabba Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi State, Hon. Teejay Yusuf has condemned the increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariff hike by President Muhammadu Buhari led government, describing the development as insensitive.

In a statement issued and made available in Abuja on Monday, the lawmaker said the government deliberately took steps to ensure that the majority of Nigerians continue to wallow in abject poverty.

Hon. Yusuf wondered how the APC government could hike those things that affect commoners directly, stressing that, “millions of Nigerians have been further at 60th independence anniversary.

The statement said: “Nigerians emerged from the COVID-19 lockdown, hoping that government’s much-expected fulfilment of its populist slogans will follow the good examples of other countries, including nearby Ghana where massive arrangements were made for the enhanced supply of water and electricity to vulnerable communities nationwide during this trying period.

“Instead, few weeks to our 60th independence anniversary, they again brought additional insensitive yokes upon the people; compared with the pre-2015 prosperity era, the cost of one bag of rice rose from N8, 500 to now equal minimum wage, Naira now exchanges for N420 instead of N200 and Nigeria’s debts rose from $9. 7 billion to $27 billion while they now look for even more loans.

“On September 1, 2020, the APC government announced a drastic anti-people increase of electricity tariffs and less than twenty-four hours later, it increased petrol price from N148 to N151.56 per litre even when VAT and other taxes had been increased to price lots of amenities out of the reach of many struggling Nigerians.

“With current official inflation rate at about 13% and unemployment at 27.1%, National Board of Statistics indices show that more than 21,764,614 Nigerians are now unemployed; Nigeria’s youth remain the hardest hit by unemployment with over 13.9 million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed.

”The gross hypocrisy of a government that promised a better life, good governance but only made Nigeria the poverty capital of the world is further reflected in perplexing and opaque expenditure like the N523.3m said to have been used to feed pupils during the COVID-19 lockdown while even the Presidential villa is known for bewildering 2019 budgetary allocations such as N135. 6 million for mere refreshments, another N145 million for foodstuffs and kitchen materials, N22.8 million for flower plants, N576. 7 million for vehicle spare parts, along with the sum of N986,908,251 for unexplained ‘miscellaneous’ spending.”

Hon. Yusuf posited that Buhari has beaten a record in dragging the nation backward even as uncertainties overtook millions of Nigerians, complicating existing problems that include mass youth unemployment, worsening inflation, continuing highway robberies.

He added that abduction-for-ransom and continuous onslaught from ‘technically-defeated’ terrorists who seem very unimpressed by the current administration’s unusual magnanimity in rehabilitating hundreds of Boko Haram even while many IDPs receive scanty attention was the reason that insecurity has not abated.

He continued: “Even though this administration that promised utopian fantasies is giving the masses very hellish experiences, it is commendable that the latest price hikes are being condemned nationwide, with labour, professionals, survivors of COVID-19, human rights groups and various CSOs defying the administration’s track record of vile intimidation to raise their voices.

“What happened to all their campaign promises; do Nigerians really deserve such an obnoxious independence anniversary gift even as the government contemplates tightening the economic noose further?

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