A coalition of 130 Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of the Kano Civil Society Forum, KCSF, has condemned the recent increase in the petrol pump price and electricity tariff, lambasting President Muhammadu Buhari for being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
Addressing a press conference in Kano on Monday, the KCSF President, Ibrahim Waiya, criticized the Federal Government for “arbitrarily increasing the prices of the essential commodity without due consultation with stakeholders across the country”.
Mr Waiya also wondered why the government would go ahead and implement the increase in the prices despite public outcry and in spite of COVID-19 impacts on Nigerians.
“For electricity, results of consultations with stakeholders across the country, reveal a total rejection on the rise of any form of electricity tariff.
“In both instances, there has been public outcry on the increment in prices in the midst of COVID-19, but the government remained insensitive to the plight of its citizens,” he said.
“This anti-people policy coming at a time when most Nigerians are struggling to survive after Months of COVID-19 lockdown is not acceptable.
“We strongly believe that such an increase will further worsen the already deteriorating living conditions of Nigerians.
“And rather than these increases, the government should have been looking at giving palliatives to its citizens to cushion the devastating effects of the global pandemic.
“Just recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) again introduced new price regimes for the electricity tariff and the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) 151.56, which came into effect 1st September 2020.
“The reason advanced by the FGN is that Covid-19 has led to a severe downturn in the funds available to finance the budget. Hence, it’s a decision for the increase.” Mr Waiya said.
The president, therefore, called on the Federal Government to immediately reverse the new price regimes, advising the government to focus its energy on “reducing the cost of governance, blocking of leakages, and enhancing its revenue sources”.
“In the event such issue comes up, the government should allow a participatory and all-inclusive negotiation process,” he added.