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FG has imposed economic hardship on Nigerians,  Labour Party laments

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.Tinubu’s first year most challenging since Civil War – PDP

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The Labour Party (LP) caucus in the House of Representatives has described President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office as a “Reign of economic hardship, insecurity and hopelessness,” which they said negates the Renewed Hope Agenda campaign promises of the current administration.

 

This was contained in a State-of-the-Nation statement in Abuja on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 signed by the caucus Leader, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, to mark the first year anniversary of the current dispensation.

 

The LP caucus said it’s bewildering that the economy of the nation has dangerously continued on a free fall, one year after the inauguration of the current administration, thereby casting a cloud of doubt on the capacity of the All Progressives Congress ((APC) government to rescue the nation from the current situation, especially after what it described as “the precarious eight years of the past administration, characterised by widespread despair.

 

“After last year’s glitch-determined presidential election, and the legal gymnastics which ratified the indolent behaviour of the electoral umpire, our Caucus had taken a backseat, in the patriotic hope that, maybe, just maybe, the beneficiary administration would be able to wrought magic and pull the nation from the precipice of economic annihilation.

 

“But, as can be obviously felt by the blind, and seen by the deaf, the entire country has, after one year, come to the full and unambiguous understanding of what President Bola Tinubu meant, when he said that his administration would continue with the ‘legacies’ of his predecessor.”

 

According to the LP Reps, “The current staggering negative economic indices should alarm every Nigerian, as it has left many previous optimists, including ourselves, in glaring shock.”

 

It stated that the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicated that food inflation rate in March 2024 was 40.01 percent on a year-on-year basis – an increase of 15.56 percent points higher, compared to the 24.45 percent rate recorded in March 2023

 

“Curiously, the NBS had pointed out that the disturbing rise in food inflation was caused by an increase in prices of garri, millet, bread and cereal, yam, dried fish, meat, and fruits, considered to be  mostly every day staple food for the ordinary man, who is now forced to battle with daily hunger as a result of food scarcity and decreasing purchasing power.”

 

The LP lawmakers also noted that “From 29.9% in January – the highest since 1996 – Nigeria’s general inflation rate today stands at 33.20% and a poverty rate of 38.9%.

 

“Price of petrol has risen from N238.11 per litre, to N701.24, which is an increase of 194.5 %. Cooking gas price has increased by over 70%, diesel from N844.28 per litre to N1,415.02, which is 67.6% and public debt from N87.38trn to N97.34trn, an increase of 11.4%.

 

“Also, interest rate for bank loans which manufacturers and small and medium enterprises depend on for business and economic activities has increased in the past year, from 22.41 % to 33.69 %, which is an increase of 31.15 %.

 

“These verifiable figures and the excruciating living conditions of the people, more than any other thing, underscore the fact that

in just one year, the APC government has earned an unenviable record of perpetuating a cycle of poverty and underdevelopment, in spite of the flowery campaign promises it made just last year.

 

The Caucus said further: “President Tinubu campaigned on the mantra of ‘Renewed Hope Agenda.’ This was anchored on an eight-point agenda, which formed his social contract with the Nigerian electorate: food security, poverty alleviation, growth, job creation, access to capital, inclusion, rule of law and anti-corruption fight.

 

“This economic plan raised cautious optimism in many because it embodies the concept of utilitarianism – ultimate good to the greatest number.

 

“But now, we hasten to ask, has Nigerians seen any indication of fulfillment of those promises? On the contrary, the ordinary man on the street is weeping and wailing, with pervasive hunger hunting millions of homes. So, what we see, in actual sense, are failed promises.”

 

“To make things worse,” the LP Reps continued, “Then in an attempt to stabilize the naira, the government at the beginning of the year committed another faux pas by floating it. This caused the naira to undergo substantial depreciation, such that by February, the naira exchanged at an alarming rate of N1,900 against the dollar in the parallel market – and hasn’t achieved any stability since then.”

 

In the area of security, the lawmakers said: “In his 80-page manifesto with a 10-point agenda unveiled in October 2022 during the campaigns, President Tinubu had pledged “To establish a bold and assertive policy that will create a strong yet adaptive national security architecture and action to obliterate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and all other forms of violent extremism from the face of our nation.

 

“Given the security situation today, this appears to be a mere rhapsody of rhetorics, making many to believe that the administration lacks an effective security strategy, as Nigerians are bogged down by incessant abductions, displacements and massacres by non-state actors across the nation.

 

“As the nation begins the journey into the second year of this administration, we call on President Tinubu to, as a matter of urgency, prioritise on minimizing the suffering of Nigerians, by ensuring food security, access to clean water, healthcare and education.

 

“Tackling poverty and guaranteeing these necessities are pivotal to the sustenance of peace in the nation.

 

“We also call on government to intensify the fight against corruption, with transparent governance and accountability being paramount. We also warn that government should desist from throwing the nation to the whims of foreign financial institutions, whose policies in developing countries are often anti-people.”

 

.Tinubu’s first year most challenging since Civil War – PDP

 

Meanwhile, The Peoples Democratic Party has described President Bola Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress-led administration’s first year in office as the most challenging in Nigeria’s history since the Civil War.

 

The President, who took office on May 29, 2023, with renewed hope for Nigeria, will mark his first year in office on Wednesday.

 

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP on Tuesday urged President Tinubu to prioritize governance, tackle corruption, and address the fuel crisis.

 

Ologunagba highlighted that the adverse effects of these poorly conceived and executed policies, without any supportive measures to alleviate the resulting increased costs and associated hardships on the masses, have plunged many into extreme poverty.

 

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The statement read in part “The PDP insists that the current rising insecurity, excruciating poverty, economic hardship and general despondency in the country necessitating the fleeing of thousands of Nigerians especially the youths from our nation further confirm that there is no hope in sight with the APC on the saddle.

 

“It is apparent that inflicting pain and misery on Nigerians remains the policy thrust of successive APC administrations which became heightened by the not well thought-out twin anti-people policies of removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the Naira without due consideration for the citizens’ welfare and security.

 

“As if these were not enough, the APC administration continues in its anti-people policies in the arbitrary hike in electricity tariff and imposition of multiple taxes on the already impoverished Nigerians with no corresponding tangible development directed towards the welfare of the people.

 

“The consequences of these ill-thought and ill-implemented policies without any cushioning measures to mitigate the resultant rising cost and associated hardship on the masses have driven many into early death and extreme poverty.”

 

Ologunagba stated that a majority of Nigerians have become disillusioned with President Tinubu’s administration.

 

He highlighted that particularly concerning is the inadequate attention given to security by the APC, as evidenced by the widespread killings, kidnappings, and attacks by bandits and terrorists that continue to plague communities across the nation.

 

PDP Publicity scribe stated, “The APC’s continuing use of poverty as a weapon of mass destruction is responsible for the widespread despondency in the country where people are only preoccupied with survival rather than show interest in the government policies and activities which largely alienate them.

 

“It is shocking that while the Federal Government announced the removal of fuel subsidy forcing Nigerians to pay more for fuel, trillions of naira is still being reportedly paid as fuel subsidy allegedly into private bank accounts associated with corrupt APC leaders.

 

“Sadly, the APC in its insensitivity and disregard for the people has not bordered to render an account to Nigerians concerning the expected savings accruable to the Federation Account as a result of the announced fuel subsidy removal.”

 

Ologunagba expressed regret that rather than tackling the significant economic hurdles confronting our country, the APC government purportedly continues to harm the productive sectors with its poorly conceived policies, leading to the departure of multinational corporations.

 

 

The opposition party urged President Tinubu to utilize the occasion of his one year in office to carefully assess the state of the nation during his tenure, critically evaluate his policies, and present a coherent economic plan aimed at improving the welfare of the Nigerian populace.

 

It continued, “The consequence of these is the massive loss of jobs and businesses with attendant socio-economic dislocation and uncertainty. This is compounded by the over 37% unemployment rate, inflation rate of over 33%, and over 200% devaluation of the Naira in the last one year.

 

“More distressing is that on the security front, the APC has merely paid lip service to the security of lives and property of Nigerians with massive killings, kidnapping, and marauding of communities by bandits and terrorists raging across the country.

 

“Since May 29, 2023, over 5000 Nigerians have been reportedly killed with many more abducted in various parts of our country with no concrete measure by the APC administration to arrest this ugly trend.

 

“From reports on governance at the sub-national levels across the country, it is clear that the only hope for our nation is the performance of governors elected on the platform of the PDP who continue to deliver life-enhancing citizen empowerment, human capital, and infrastructural development projects with a positive effect on the wellbeing of the people.

 

“Our Party therefore urges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to use the occasion of his one year in office to have a deep reflection on the state of the nation under his watch; take a critical look at his policies and present a clear economic roadmap which will enhance the welfare of the Nigerian people. He should also address the allegation of corruption and profligacy in the administration.

 

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