By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Amember of the House of Representatives, Teejay Yusuf has warned the Federal Government that the increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff would further compound the woes of millions of Nigerians.
Yusuf, who is representing Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi state, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement, accused the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government of inflicting hardship on the people.
He accused the APC-led government of making determined efforts towards ensuring that many citizens will further wallow in miserable poverty and depression with the hike in petrol and electricity tariff.
Recall that on September 1, the Distribution Companies announced increase in electricity tariff in their areas of coverage. The Petroleum Pricing Marketing Company (PPMC) also increased the ex-depot price of petrol from N138 to NN151.56 per litre, triggering marketers to increase pump price from N148 to N162 per litre.
But the lawmaker in a statement, said that Nigerian youths remained the hardest hit by unemployment with over 13.9 million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed.
He added that it was unfortunate that the only independence anniversary gift that the APC led government can give millions of suffering masses are measures with definitive implications of immediately bringing more Nigerians into abject poverty and hopelessness than ever recorded in the history of Nigeria.
The statement said: “With the simultaneous hike in the prices of fuel and electricity, the woes of millions of Nigerians have been further compounded and instead of celebrating Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary in few weeks, the APC Federal Government has taken steps to ensure that too many citizens will further wallow in miserable poverty and depression.
“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 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.
“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 odious and obnoxious independence anniversary gift even as government contemplates tightening the economic noose further?
“It is very unfortunate that the only independence anniversary that the current APC government can give millions of suffering masses are measures with definitive implications of immediately bringing more Nigerians into abject poverty and hopelessness than ever recorded in the history of Nigeria.”