A coalition of Yoruba groups, under the name, The Yoruba One Voice (YOV), has condemned the hike in electricity and fuel prices.
Recall that distribution companies have started implementing new electricity tariff from September 1, while the federal government announced new ex-depot price of petrol on September 2, with the pump price now increased to N160 – N163 per litre from N140 – N143.
Zacheaus Somorin, the YOV Director of Communication, in a statement on Sunday, accused President Muhammadu Buhari administration of being inconsiderate, despite the adverse effects of COVID-19.
He noted that many countries have been giving transparent and visible stimulus packages to their citizens, he decried that the Nigerian government decided to compound the problems of its people.
According to Somorin , “The government is insensitive to socio-economic plights and the impact of COVID-19 on Nigerians and businesses. The President’s wife’s trip abroad for treatment is an indictment on leadership. Economic recovery should be the focus to avoid recession”.
YOV noted that Nigeria was under intense pressure by the World Bank to make “undesirable reforms” before another loan is granted, stressing that while it is necessary to make reforms that would boost the economy, the government should not carry out policies at the detriment of its citizens.
The body urged the Buhari administration in order to forestall a deep economic dive, to enforce tax laws, recover all unremitted VAT, track unpaid duty and make judicious use of funds the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered.
“The loan from the World Bank would create more problems than solutions. YOV advises the federal government to release money into the economy as stimulus packages. This would keep businesses going, prevent inflation and recession”, Somorin added.
He finally reminded the authorities that increment in the costs of essential commodities on top of hardship Nigerians face already amid a pandemic could result in high suicide rate, family violence, reduced savings/purchasing power, mental health breakdown, among others.