Govt and fueling of hardship of Nigerians

Muhammadu Buhari

Last week in what seemed like a double-barrel attack the federal government introduced two economic actions that impinge heavily on the welfare of the people leaving tongues to wag in different directions. The government it must be reminded is one that should strive to improve the lot of its citizens bringing a lot of good for a greater number of people. It is recognized that no government can meet 100% the needs of the people.
The federal government after all resistance from consumers upped the electricity tariff from N22 to N66 per unit of electricity. This is a clear 300% per cent increase. As if that was not strong enough the price of fuel was yet increased from 145 to 165 per litre. Before the increase, many Nigerians were already groaning under the heavyweight of unfriendly government policies which have made living a serious challenge.
There is no doubt that the government would be hiding under the factor deregulation which it announced in March that prices of commodities would be determined by market forces. Government and economy watchers no doubt would attribute the situation as responding to the pulse of the economy. We must advise the need for guided regulation at this point if the government is insisting on this because the players in the economy could choose to be manipulative.
The dynamics playing out in the economy no doubt will transport the incidence of the burden to the man in the street that is unsure of where the next meal will come from. It has been a case of mixed reactions. While the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling party has thrown its support on the increase, the Nigerian Labour Congress, as well as many other Nigerians, has called on the federal government to withdraw it.
With the announcement prices of commodities and transportation are already hitting the rooftop. Edge Express does not understand the wisdom of the federal government in adding more salt to an injury. Coming at a time the citizens are still heavily weighed down by the effects of the global pandemic it is difficult to convince anyone that the government meant well for the citizens. The expectations are that the government should be more concerned with alleviating the sufferings of masses.
Mixed reactions have so far trailed the increase with labour threatening to call out its workforce. While the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling party has thrown its support on the increase, the Nigerian Labour Congress, as well as many other Nigerians, has called on the federal government to withdraw it. Already prices of commodities have hit the rooftops without a corresponding increase in the income of workers.
By the increment which was not supported with any form of palliative, the government has clearly demonstrated insensitivity to the plight of the commoners who are already weighed down by hardship orchestrated by infrastructural facilities, poor medical services, increased cost of living and insecurity.
Edge Express frowns at the recent actions of the government which will further exacerbate the ugly situations currently experienced. Increased electricity tariff and fuel costs may drive people out of business because of increased overhead and the resulting unemployment situation may result to increased crime.
Nigerians have made the immense sacrifice and should be spared a breathing space. The lives of Nigerians matter as well. It is our candid view that the government should reverse the increase or create palliatives to whittle down the effect of the increase on the populace. Government must do all in its powers to cater for the common good of the people.

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