Unless realistic steps towards fixing the economy are taken, the palliative regime of the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government remains a time bomb, as the patience of majority of Nigerians is running out, a professor of Agricultural and Development Economics at the University of Uyo, Mr. Gabriel Umoh, has warned.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday in Uyo, who is the director/ chief executive officer of Africa Human Development Centre (AHDC), said the country could again be thrown into turmoil, given the fact that the palliative arrangement appears to have failed, with complaints of diversion of the items from the targeted poor.
He said: “The palliatives by the federal government are not the sustainable solution to the sufferings inflicted on the masses by the so-called petrol subsidy removal.
For several reasons you know, petrol, which is used for so many things – transport, running of power since we have no steady power in the country for small and big businesses and other things, has impacted virtually on all facets of life of the people.
“So, by removing fuel subsidy, people’s incomes are affected; prices of everything have gone beyond the reach of the people. The cost of living generally is very high; there’s hardship in the land. So, for you to say you want to give palliatives; to what percentage of the population and for how long?
“That you want to share rice, like in my village, it was shared to families, and I am not sure if it lasted for two days for those who got it, and after those two days, what next? Or, even the so-called Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) that they said N8,000; what is the total population and how much can N8,000 fetch in today’s Nigerian economy? Worse still is allowing the exchange rate to be determined by market forces of demand and supply.
“And when you also check that most of the things we consume are imported, you can know the impact that would have on the living standard of the people.
So, to me, my worry is that those that lead the country don’t do the thinking before they speak; they are quick to make pronouncements without weighing deeply the implications and the effects such pronouncements would have on various aspects of the economy and the masses they swore to lead and protect their welfare.”
The way forward, he noted, lies in macro – economic reforms: “The right thing to be done has to do with managing the macro – economy of Nigeria properly so that the people can do their things normally and live their lives.
We should block the leakages, stop corruption in oil importation and supply; those should have been the issues government should have looked at.
“If government money that was expended in that area was not properly used, they should look for a way to stop it, and make sure the fuel imports come in at the right cost and prices that they were supposed to be, and properly distributed,” he added..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>