The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has taken a swipe at the federal Government as it condemned the recent increase in electricity tariff and petrol price in the country.
CDD Director, Idayat Hassan on Sunday, said the federal government has done nothing to help citizens cope with the devastating economic impact of the pandemic but is worsening the plight of Nigerians by raising the cost of essential services.
“At a time governments around the world are enacting policies, and putting in place measures to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens, the Nigerian government has chosen to do the direct opposite. Even governments in neighbouring countries like Niger and Chad have been supporting citizens with free or subsidized services to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic,” Idayat said.
“In Nigeria, government has not only declined to giving citizens the helping hand in this moment of economic crisis, it is worsening their plight by raising the cost of essential services. CDD finds it unacceptable that a government, which has done very little or nothing to help citizens cope with the devastating economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, would turn round to further squeeze life out of already impoverished citizens.
“As the number of COVID-19 infections continue to rise, the increase in the pump rise of fuel will make public transportation more expensive, with poor adherence to directives on social distancing. This could contribute to further rise in the rate of infections across the country.
“CDD is convinced the government should have found other creative, sustainable and logical pathways to address the issues, which it claims necessitated the price hikes. The resort to the policy of hiking the prices of essential commodities and services, points to the absence of the political will to fulfill the promises made to the Nigerian people, while this President was on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2019.
“In all of these cases, the Federal Government has failed to act to ease the pains of long suffering citizens. Its decision to inflict further hardships on the people by hiking electricity tariffs, should get an appropriate response from millions of Nigerians whose well-being has been further imperiled.”
The CDD asked Nigerians to brace up for the struggle to resist the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price using legal channels.