Tinubu Should Reverse Fuel Subsidy Removal To Reduce Citizens’ Anguish -EU


Hon Charles Aneke is the national president of the Eastern Union, a pro-equity and justice group in Nigeria. He proffers solutions to key problems facing Nigeria in the interview.

What is your view on Nigeria’s current economic quagmire?

The country is in a shambles. The economy of the country has crumbled beyond repairs, and common citizens across the country are languishing in abject poverty. This is the real time that Nigeria indeed has become the poverty capital of the world. The ordinary citizens can no longer afford a meal daily, talk more of three square meals.

The truth is that the removal of fuel subsidy is the bane of the Tinubu administration and has brought untold hardship to the citizens beyond any reasonable imagination. Prices of both essentials and non-essential commodies have risen exponentially beyond the reach of the ordinary man. Many businesses have folded up and many would still fold up. The immediate consequence is massive loss of jobs across the country. The unemployment rate will multiply.

What are the immediate remedies?

It is the reversal of fuel subsidy removal. The very first step the government should take towards economic recovery that will alleviate the sufferings of ordinary Nigerians is to retrace its footsteps. The removal of subsidy must be carefully planned with a lot of measures in place to cushion the adverse effects on the citizens. The removal of the subsidy must be reversed against the floating of the naira.

The government should tackle insecurity more seriously. Insecurity has continued to thrive across the country due to lack of political will. Insecurity is still being handled with kid’s gloves. Most of the big guys have continued to see terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other crimes as very lucrative businesses. It’s embarrassing and disheartening to see some confirmed terrorists let off the hooks and even compensated for their heinous crimes against humanity in the name of amnesty.

Farmers can no longer freely go to their farms. Citizens generally must be assured of their safety so they can go about their lawful businesses without any fear of being attacked or kidnapped.

Again, there is nothing much Nigeria can achieve with the present epileptic power supply. Electricity and transportation are the major driving force of any economy.

Similarly, the government should also cut down the cost of governance. They should look inwards and stop the insatiable quest for foreign loans with their attendant heavy burden on the citizens.

What about monetary policies for adoption?

The only monetary policy in a very short term to halt the rapid declining of the naira is to stop dollarizing the Nigerian economy. Most of those in government use dollars in their local transactions as if dollars were the country’s currency.

The naira must be seen to be the only legal tender of the country. The Chinese hardly transact businesses with any foreign currencies within their country. The unpatriotic activities of our leaders are the reason for the continued free fall of the naira.”

Why do you think there is a sudden increase in kidnapping across the country?

The reason for this sudden increase in the inhuman business of kidnapping across the country is not far-fetched. The one major reason is that our judicial system has been over-compromised to the chagrin of every normal person. The processes of getting a publicly confirmed kidnapping kingpins prosecuted are usually a very long journey. In Nigeria today, justice is and still remains for the highest bidder, hence the sponsors of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and other violent crimes are always having their way off the hooks. What has happened to Evans the kidnapper kingpin in Lagos? Even after he was confirmed guilty, what has happened? If criminals know that they will always get away with their crimes, they will continue and more and more people will be attracted to join them. There is no adequate punishment for crimes in Nigeria. That is why crimes have continued to be attractive and many people are joining. Mind you that kidnapping and other such crimes are not businesses of the poor, rather they are businesses of the rich, the high and mighty in society.

This is why it’s spreading like wide fire. In short, kidnapping is the newest oil boom by the well-to-do people in Nigeria. If kidnapping, banditry and terrorism were to be businesses of the poor, like local refining of crude, the government would have long ended the menace.
The truth is that if the political will is there and the government is willing to step on big toes, it will not take our security agencies much time to end kidnapping and free the country from such heinous crimes.

What can government do to stem the tide of kidnapping across the country?

Kidnapping is not the business of the poor. Therefore, for the government to stem the tide across the country, it must be courageous and willing to end the evil in the country. If the government will not be ready to step on big toes, then there will be no need talking about it. Better to keep pretending that all is well or to be fighting the evil. If the government will sincerely give a matching order to the security agents, kidnapping will be a thing of the past.

In terms of corruption, do you think this administration is putting its foot down to fight corruption considering the fact that some of the appointees have corruption allegations hanging on their neck?.

As far as Iam concerned, this government cannot dare to dream of fighting corruption, considering its background; and considering the characters and actors that constitute the leadership. If the government attempts to fight corruption, its antecedents will not only hurt them badly but will fight them to surrender.

The institutions that were established to fight corruption by the Obasanjo administration have over the period been swallowed up by the same corruption they were established to fight. It is very unfortunate that the crops of politicians of the Fourth Republic have proved to be 100% more sophisticated in corruption than those of previous Republics put together. The cases of corruptions and undemocratic activities of those eras were nothing but child’s play when compared with what we are witnessing in this era. This is the era when snakes and monkeys are swallowing stolen monies. Devil cannot cast out itself. Our present leaders, irrespective of party affiliations, have corruption in their DNA, therefore, nothing can be done since all the sectors and institutions are already infested.

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