The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has strongly condemned the most recent unfair and unjust hike in fuel price and electricity tariffs by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Center in a statement signed by the Director, Idayat Hassan said the government should have found other creative, sustainable, and logical pathways to address the issues, which it claims necessitated the price hikes.
She added that at a time governments around the world are enacting policies, and putting in place measures to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens, the Nigerian government has chosen to do the direct opposite.
“Even governments in neighboring countries like Niger and Chad have been supporting citizens with free or subsidized services to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic.”
” In Nigeria, the government has not only declined to give citizens the helping hand in this moment of economic crisis, it is worsening their plight by raising the cost of essential services. ”
Hassan noted that the center finds it unacceptable that a government, which has done very little or nothing to help citizens cope with the devastating economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, would turn round to further squeeze the life out of already impoverished citizens.
The Director explained that as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise, the increase in the pump rise of fuel will make public transportation more expensive, with poor adherence to directives on social distancing.
“This could contribute to a further rise in the rate of infections across the country.
CDD is convinced that the policy of hiking the prices of essential commodities and services, points to the absence of the political will to fulfill the promises made to the Nigerian people, while this President was on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2019.”
Recall that earlier in the year, CDD and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, conducted research on how to address the electricity shortfall in Nigeria’s productive sectors caused by corruption.
The research found that a decade after the privatization of the electricity sector, the desired outcomes have still not materialized and the electricity available on the national grid to light homes and power the economy has stayed at an almost constant 4,500 megawatts (MW), well below the 8,400 MW projected for 2018.
CDD, therefore, calls on Nigerians, who are at the receiving end of these unfavorable decisions to brace up for the struggle to resist these measures using on legal channels.
“We support citizens’ resistance against all anti-people policies, using all constitutional options including peaceful mass protests, litigation, press briefings, pamphleteering, and the mobilization of Nigerians across the country to collectively hold the current administration accountable for its current economic policies.”