(News investigators) A pro-democracy civil society organisation, Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), has said that President Bola Tinubu implemented toxic economic policies within two months as Nigerian President.
The group lamented that the Nigerian economy which is Africa’s largest is currently in disarray.
GICN President, Edward Omaga Esq. made this known while speaking during a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that Nigerians were deceived that the removal of fuel subsidy will promote competition and efficiency in the oil sector and drop prices naturally.
He explained that one can only imagine the strain inflicted on the wider population of Nigerians who have to survive with the monthly minimum wage of N30,000, adding that most common men and women on the streets are now rewriting the “Biblical Book of Lamentations”, as they are seen complaining to one another at market places, motor parks and newspaper stands about the new “shege economy” which is synonymous with hardship.
The statement reads in part, “The 2023 General Elections may have come and gone but they left us with a plethora of issues which if not tackled properly could threaten our corporate existence as a nation. At a time when Nigerians wanted to heave a sigh of relief after the exit of former President Muhammadu Buhari, the reality shows that we are still confronted with more daunting challenges under the new dispensation.
“Instead of making progress, Nigeria seems to be going backwards as a result of many factors which include; insecurity, high-level corruption in public offices, educational decay, toxic economic policies and rising inflation, growing rate of unemployment and poverty, lack of justice sector reforms, religious intolerance and tribalism, lack of institutional independence and lots more.”
It continued, “On his part, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has within barely two months of grabbing the mantle of leadership implemented what we consider as “toxic economic policies” that have adversely affected the already impoverished masses.
“One of such toxic policies is the total removal of fuel subsidy by Mr. President on 29th May, 2023 during his inaugural speech without first providing the necessary palliatives.
“As it happened after the fuel subsidy removal, NNPC Limited being a government-owned oil company was quick to review the pump price of petrol from N189 per litre to between N480 and N570 per litre – a more than 200 percent increase. This caused transport fares and prices of essential goods to shoot up significantly across the country.
“Nigerians were deceived that removal of subsidy will promote competition and efficiency in the oil sector and drop prices naturally. Alas! We woke on Tuesday, 18th July, 2023 to read news of a further increase in fuel price to N617 per litre.
“One can only imagine the strain inflicted on the wider population of Nigerians who have to survive with the monthly minimum wage of N30,000. Most common men and women on the streets are now rewriting the “Biblical Book of Lamentations”, as they are seen complaining to one another at marketplaces, motor parks and newspaper stands about the new “shege economy” which is synonymous with hardship.
“To make matters worse, the National Assembly recently amended the 2022 Supplementary Budget and allocated N70 Billion to support the working conditions of their new members. On the other hand, the sum of N500 Billion was approved for President Tinubu to share among 12 Million poor households with each receiving N8,000 for a period of six months to cushion the ripple effects of fuel subsidy removal.
“We condemn the insensitivity behind this type of policy and urge that it be jettisoned in its entirety. If the President wanted to provide palliatives for the so-called “poor households” he should have done so before removing the fuel subsidy. His action in this regard smacks of an economic summersault.”
“More so, he should have been more concerned about reviving the ailing economy generally and not distributing money which may end up in the hands of those who do not need it. The time has come for the government to realize that the citizens are not fools. Infrastructural development is needed now to bring Nigeria out of its current economic valley and Mr. President must do well to rise to the occasion without further delay,” the statement added.