Former Governor of Anambra State, and Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP in the last presidential elections, Mr Peter Obi, has expressed concern over the lingering fuel scarcity, the rising cost of energy, as well as their impact on the well-being of Nigerians. He noted that the situation has spiralled into a national crisis that is affecting other sectors of the economy. “It has led to unsustainable increase in the cost of doing business, the cost of living, the rate of unemployment and added to the worsening national security situation,” Obi said.
He called on the Federal Government to act swiftly, strategically and with a comprehensive perspective that will address our current national problems in a holistic manner.
In a Press Release made available to the Media, Obi said the scarcity is progressively bringing every meaningful economic activity to a standstill. He drew national attention to the effects of these on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), transportation, mobility of goods and the cost of service delivery.
Obi noted that no modern nation can survive with a piecemeal approach to problem-solving, as he called on the Federal Government to sit up and spare Nigerians the revolving spectacules of inflation, insecurity, declining national currency, youth restiveness and political confusion. He maintained that only a lasting solution that is in sync with 21st century governance templates can get the nation out of the woods.
Pointing out that more than half of the country’s population are living under poverty, Obi said: “Petroleum products, especially diesel, have not only continued to rise in price, but are extremely scarce. These are all weighing down on the economy as costs of production and manufacturing, transportation and logistics are on the increase. If this ugly trend is sustained, the level of inflation in the country will be unprecedented,”
On the continued strike action, by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Obi asked the Federal Government to meet its subsisting agreement with the university teachers, and also to listen whatever reasonable demands they are still putting on the table, for the sake of Nigerian students who are at the receiving end of the strike action.
He lamented the negative effects of the incessant strikes on the students and warned that no nation that toys with its human capital and its future leaders can develop in today’s world. According to Obi, “A nation that does not prioritize its education sector is headed for crisis. We cannot expect meaningful development in the country, when a critical sector like education is characterized by incessant and avoidable strike actions. It’s dangerous to allow millions of Nigerian youths wander about due to the ongoing strike action.”
He implored the Federal Government to give urgent attention to these two critical issues, if the nation is to avert the looming negative consequences that could erupt when an already over stretched economic situation is further complicated by frustration of very poor and hungry citizens.