The chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kogi State Council, Ali Atabor has condemned the new price regime announced by the Federal Government, describing it as obnoxious and a deliberate policy to make Nigerians cry.
Tabor, who spoke to The Guardian in Lokoja, yesterday that the withdrawal of subsidy is not “in the best interest of Nigerians” as it will send them to their early graves, advised that such a change should be done gradually.
According to him, even if the total deregulation of the downstream is in the best interest of Nigerians, there must be something to cushion the effect. “This is not even the best of time, there is inflation today. Go to our markets, the N18, 000 minimum wage is no longer sustainable; it cannot sustain any family. With this, the average working class citizens would be made miserable. It is not a welcome development.”
In the same vein, professor of Biology Education at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, James Adejo, speaking in a telephone interview with The Guardian in Lokoja yesterday blamed the Federal Government for not carrying stakeholders along.
He expressed fear over the possibility of the organised labour embarking on strike, which will be disastrous, adding that it will add to the burden of the people. “In view of the hardship people are passing through; the non payment of salary, it will definitely worsen the situation. Even if they have the plan to increase the pump price, it is not at this time when poverty is ravaging the land. With the increase in pump price there will be a ripple effect on the prices of commodities in the market. So, it is not a welcome development at this time.”
He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the issue and have a rethink by reducing the price and ensure that the product would be available.