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CSO reacts to hike in fuel, electricity tariff, task Nigerians to resist

Idayat Hassan

NIGERIA – The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has reacted to the increase in fuel price and electricity tariffs by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

CDD, in a statement on Sunday by its Director, Idayat Hassan, lamented that the increment was an added burden on Nigerians amid the coronavirus pandemic, adding that President Buhari has not kept the fervent promises made to Nigerian.

The statement read in part: “The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in clear and unmistakable terms, strongly condemns the most recent unfair and unjust hike in fuel price and electricity tariffs by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“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, and 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.

“In Nigeria, the government has not only declined to give citizens a 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 the life out of already impoverished citizens.

“As the number of COVID-19 infections continues 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 a further rise in the rate of infections across the country.”

“The resort to the policy of hiking the prices of essential commodities and services points to the absence of the political will to fulfil the promises made to the Nigerian people, while this President was on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2019.

“It is disappointing that five years on, the President has not kept the fervent promises made to the people in this regard. It is even more galling that the President has chosen to saddle already distressed Nigerians with further burdens, instead of tackling the problems from the root causes.”

CDD, therefore, called on Nigerians, who are at the receiving end of the unfavourable decisions to brace up for the struggle to resist the measures using legal channels.

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