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ActionAid faults fuel price, electricity tariff hikes

Following the outcome of the #EndSARs protests, ActionAid Nigeria has charged the Federal Government to give definite timelines within which to respond to youths’ demands.

After its 42nd meeting held virtually to review the state of the nation, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of ActionAid Nigeria urged the government to investigate the Lekki Tollgate shooting, to determine those who ordered the shooting, insisting that the officers who shot peaceful protesters must be prosecuted.

The group also canvassed that those who sponsored hoodlums to disrupt the peaceful protests, attack fellow citizens and destroy property across the country should be identified and prosecuted, urging the Federal Government to order the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to unfreeze the accounts of perceived #EndSARS promoters without delay.

While expressing concern that the country was inching closer to a food crisis situation due to flooding and food shortage, it admonished that, to avoid the looming crisis, the government should encourage financial inclusiveness through increased access to low interest credit by small-scale farmers, especially smallholder women farmers who produce over 70 per cent of foods in the country.

The group, however, faulted the Federal Government for increasing electricity tariffs and pump price of petrol by almost 100 per cent amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lamenting that the privatisation of the power sector seven years after had not yielded the desired results.

It lamented that through the privatisation process, the sector was sold for about N400b, but the government had in the last four years injected over N1.5tr over and above what is generated from the power sector assets and Nigerians were still paying more.

Insisting that the increase in electricity tariff and hike in fuel price had eroded the purchasing power of Nigerians, it recommended the reversal of the fuel price and electricity tariff, requesting that meters be provided for all electricity consumers.

“Otherwise, inflation will erode the gains made in poverty eradication by the President Muhammadu Buhari government and other stakeholders like ActionAid Nigeria,” it stated.

On the rising insecurity in the country, it urged the Federal Government to continue to engage international partners like the United Nations, United States, and the United Kingdom to provide support for the Armed Forces and Multi-national Joint Task Force (MJTF) in fighting terrorism in the Northeast, adding that Nigeria should consider looking inwards for home-grown solutions to end insecurity in the country.

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