Tinubu is taking us back to the Stone Age

Instead of devising how to ameliorate these sufferings, the government is plotting further sufferings for the citizenry.

By Moses Okorie

Nigerians are currently battling the effect of fuel subsidy removal, which took effect during the inaugural speech of President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, when he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone; it’s gone for good.” Many Nigerians clapped and hailed the new declaration, describing it as bold step by the new president. Some even blamed past administrations for allowing fuel subsidy remain over the years.

Right from that day, Nigerians have not had it easy; car owners now park their vehicles at home as they believe it is cheaper to commute via public transport than using private cars while buying fuel at an exorbitant rate of almost N700 per litre. Even those who use ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generating sets have suddenly discovered that no one is better than the other. Less people now their generators as the case was when petrol was less than N200 per litre.

As if that was is not enough, the American currency, Dollar, which determines the rising and falling of prices of goods and services in Nigeria, started going up, all because of the bad monetary policies of the new government of Tinubu and his lieutenants. And the irony is that while all these are happening, people have resorted to ‘suffering and smiling’. Any contrary view to what the government in power is doing is termed as opposition or witch-hunt. Some people even go as far as raising ethnic, political or religious issues as to why anybody would complain that Nigerians are suffering. What they want everyone to be saying is “it is for the good of all of us. It would soon get better.”

Again, just as we were getting used to the previous policies and swallowing the bitter pills of Tinubu government, they struck us once more through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, telling us that we would need to pay higher for electricity, for those on Band A. Who is the person that determines whether an area is Band A or Band B? It is still the same people that charge the hapless customers. Even when the light is not there, customers must pay. In fact, using prepaid metre is now like a death sentence, because one must be very careful not to power any air conditioner or freezer, not to talk of electric cookers, commonly known as hot plate, otherwise his money would go down the drain.

Now, they have come again and again! They want to return us to the Stone Age even as the world is already in the jet age. The introduction of cybersecurity levy by the federal government, to be controlled by the Office of the National Security Adviser, is yet another plot to make Nigerians pay dearly for not seeking the opportunity to jet out of the country like many others did in the spirit of ‘japarism’.

* National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu

What this policy is trying to encourage is people avoiding the banks as much as possible, like it was done in the old time, when Nigerians used their houses as their banks. The situation is likely returning to that. The so-called 0.5 percent charges on each electronic financial transaction will make a bank customer prefer making payments in cash as alternative.

As the labour unions and other civil society organisations cry foul, calling on the government to renege on his decision, all Nigerians need to obey the clarion call of the National Anthem, “Arise oh Compatriots.” We need to arise against this policy or it would add to the overbearing burden we are already carrying. Very soon they would also introduce ‘ground marching levy’ and ‘air breathing charges’ so that those who can’t pay would be denied the right of marching on the soil of Nigeria or breathing the air of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

With what is happening, it is already obvious to us that this government did not come to ‘Look Uche face’, it has really come to exploit its citizens. If with all the trillions the Nigerian Customs Service is generating, the ones the NNPC is making, all monies the Federal Inland Revenue Service brings into the national coffers, as well as the international grants the country is getting, yet the government of Bola Tinubu cannot operate without charging from the meagre resources individual Nigerians are making, then there is cause for alarm.

Where are all the CNG (compressed natural gas) buses the government promised, the palliatives that would better the lots of Nigerians and so on? When will the government make them available? The policies of this present administration have made prices of goods and service to shoot beyond the reach of the common man, but instead of devising how to ameliorate these sufferings, the government is plotting further sufferings for the citizenry. Tinubu should let the poor breathe.


Moses Okorie is an Abuja-based journalist.

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