By Moses Mark
Convener of Hope Initiative Bashir Abdullahi II , on Sunday said that the upward review of electricity tariff in the country and increase of Petroleum pump price to N151 per litre is ill timed.
He made this known while speaking with our correspondent in Jos the Plateau State capital, stressing that the increment at this time when COVID 19 is ravaging business would deepen poverty.
Bashir who is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Konad Groups also said that in as much as he supports the introduction of the deregulation policy by the Federal government, this is not the best time to increase the price of petroleum products .
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently approved the implementation of the cost reflective electricity tariff for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, and increased the price of fuel .
The new tariff regime, which kicked off on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, has drawn the ire of Nigerians who see the development as exploitative.
Bashir a Builder by Profession said government needs to market reforms to the people in a better way and not assume that because Nigerians have been showing understanding and patience all along, there is nothing to worry about any more. You don’t implement these tough economic decisions without first trying to build support ,he stressed .
“The Government should have consulted its citizens first before carrying out an upward review on electricity tariff and increase of Petroleum pump price to N151.9k.
Bashir described the increment as a disregard for the challenges” faced by Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also urged the Federal Government to rethink its decision to reopen schools across the country stressing that the decision was hasty.
He insisted that government must take practical steps to safeguard the lives of both the teachers and students before ordering the reopening of schools.
He cautioned that teachers and students would be vulnerable to the virus, if schools were reopened without taking adequate measures to protect them from contracting the virus.
Bashir also called on the Federal Government to come up with a blueprint on how to address the perennial insecurity plaguing the country.
He said that insecurity was thriving in Nigeria, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and that the development was affecting the economy adversely.
“Our President Muhammadu Buhari has what it takes to tackle insecurity, he has done well in the past and that was why Nigerians voted for him massively in the 2015 elections.
“Government needs to fashion out strategies to tackle the problem, which he said, had resulted to loss of lives in parts of the country.”
“This is essential because the primary purpose of every government is actually to provide security for its citizens.
“The issues of COVID-19 and the rising state of insecurity are affecting businesses. More so, this is affecting our farmers and the effect is already being felt.
“So, it is important for us to call on government to address the insecurity in the country.”
According to him the gains that have been made in recent years would be be reversed if there is insecurity.
“I think the current strategy deployed in repelling attacks is not working and I think what is required is a new technique and strategy,No economy can thrive when there is insecurity, he added.
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