Opinion

Let the poor Nigerians breathe!!!

In the history of our nation, only petroleum products have suffered more incessant increments in prices than electricity tariff in all public products and services. Unfortunately, those are the two main things that impact mostly on our lives and national economy. While the increment in petroleum products’ prices is always attributed to the price of crude oil at the international market and the need to curb the scarcity by encouraging the supply, the increment in the electricity tariff has never had any justifiable reason and no service improvement afterwards. In fact, the electricity supply has gone far worse now that the tariff has gone up by over 300 percent.

One of the underlying reasons for the planned electricity subsidy removal as unconsciously relayed by the Minister of Power on TVC News is the sabotage of the system by those collecting the subsidy money to maintain the assets.

He said: “These are assets that we spend the country’s money on, and our brothers deliberately sabotage them. So you can see that some people are hiding somewhere that do not want this sector to work”.

Just as the petroleum subsidy must go because the government is too impotent to handle the petroleum subsidy racketeers, the electricity subsidy has to also go at the expense of the poor masses for the inability of the aecovered and no one has been prosecuted for it. When the oligarchs rob us blind, the poor masses are made to pay. The only tool that seems to be at the disposal of this government for the combat of economic challenges brought by the corruption of the political elites is to make the poor masses suffer deprivations. No doubt, stopping the monkeys from the banana plantation is a herculean task. But those with their thinking caps on will not need to destroy the banana plantation to ward off the monkeys.

The Federal Government has taken several decisions in the last one year that are akin to milking the debilitated cow to feed the virile buffalo. The electricity tariff now has to go up to make more money for the oligarchs that sold our collective heritage to themselves and have been taking money from us for next-to-nothing service delivery. In order to win the supports of the poor masses of Nigeria, the tariff was classified and made to seem like it isn’t going to affect the poor, while the poor will invariably be the worse for it. Most of those on Band A tariff, who are to be paying very exorbitantly for electricity are companies producing most of our consumables and utility items. With the high cost of electricity, the production cost will go high and consequently, the cost of the products. By the time the effects of the new electricity tariffs take full manifestation, almost everything that can make life meaningful will be beyond the purchasing powers of most Nigerians.

I can’t help but to wonder what exactly is left for us to benefit as citizens of this country. Nigeria is rapidly moving towards a capitalist nation, where everything is commercialised and profit at the expense of the citizens is the priority. Medicare and even public education are now being run for profit.

The government goes about with the shenanigans of education for all, while it is making education unaffordable to most Nigerians. Even the students’ loan, as badly conceived as it is, is also with interest. Those who have been in power since our democratic dispensation belong to that generation of Nigerians that the nation had been very benevolent to. They were educated for free, got paid salaries as students and given jobs on a platter after graduation. This generation of people got everything from Nigeria and unfortunately have refused to give anything back. They have not only been ungrateful to Nigeria; they have also systematically run the country aground. What a waste of investment Nigeria has made in them! While some countries in this same Africa hardly experience power outage in a year, our own Band A would at best experience four hours of power outage in a day. This is the ruins they have led our country to in 21st century.

The timing and manner that these anti-welfare policies were introduced are indicative of lack of concern for the citizens of this country. A lot of Nigerians have lost their lives in choking circumstances.

Please, let the poor breathe! While trying to rebuild Nigeria, the poor masses shouldn’t be made to feel like the eggs in the preparation of omelette. It is very obvious that you don’t care about how many eggs are broken, so long as you can have the omelette.

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