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President Tinubu’s economic policies insensitive, lack compassion

The raison d’etre of any government is to make the people it governs happy through programmes and policies that are inclusive and compassionate. Of course…

The raison d’etre of any government is to make the people it governs happy through programmes and policies that are inclusive and compassionate. Of course it is recognised that in any given society, indeed even down to family units, not all persons may have the same talents, ideas and approaches to achieving certain goals. Certainly as we are all not made of the same talents by the creator, there needs to be inclusivity and synergy in allocating tasks and responsibility and in rewards.

Any government that does not take into account this basic consideration in its governance policies is in default and should not expect to enjoy the confidence of the people it purports to govern. Such a government may have all the power to wield and the trickery and subterfuge to deploy to keep it in power, but in all essence it deserves the misgivings it incurs from the people for wilfully failing to live up to its covenant.

Last week, the Tinubu administration gave approval for the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to increase electricity tariff by a whopping 300 per cent. This is the latest in the series of the punishing, anti-people policies embarked upon by the administration from the very first minute of its inception on May 29, 2023.

Ten months into his administration, majority of Nigerians have now come to believe, without any shadow of doubt that it does not mean well for Nigerians and Nigeria.

As he did with the ill-considered and illogical increase in the price of petroleum products, President Tinubu attributed it to the huge subsidies running to trillions of naira needed to maintain the price at the level he met it. The twisted logic here is that the huge subsidies benefitted more those with connections to the subsidy regime skimming, huge profits and not allowing the people to get the product as intended. This is admittedly true. But it also exposes the administration’s complicity in the whole scheme by not going after those it knows are abusers of subsidy.

The administration instead turns on the people and punishes them for the crimes of the connected few. And even at that the subsidies still go on in much bigger sums to a select few despite denials by the government. So who is fooling who here?

The promised Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, health services and road construction to cushion the effect of subsidy withdrawal on the people have still not surfaced 10 months after. 

And as the biting effects of the increase in the price of petroleum squeezes Nigerians further without abating, the Tinubu administration has come with the hike in electricity tariffs. This is another low blow on the people by a government that cannot stop thinking at how to subject the Nigerian people to further hardship. The increase in electricity tariff at this particular time that Nigerians are groaning under the harsh effects of the increase in the price of petroleum products is a double whammy of insensitivity and callousness by the administration.

As in the fuel subsidy removal, this latest act does not make economic sense despite attempts to explain it as such. Again it is the same talk about government paying huge subsidies over the years to prop up electricity supply in the country. But the last time we checked the sector was privatised and deregulated a long time ago and that those private entities that bought the sector were supposed to run it efficiently. They were expected to source for funds in the market to run the entities they bought. So how come the subsidies paid to them as claimed by government?

These are the questions that needed to be addressed before government embarked on the electricity tariff hike. We need to know who and how the sector had been run down and to what extent. Those to be affected by this ill-conceived policy are at the heart of the Nigerian small and medium business. Already struggling hard to meet the stifling economic situation in the country, they are now faced with the daunting prospect for unreliable power supply at three times the price they are now paying. This is not only a sure recipe for business collapse on a mass scale, but also a prescription for inflation, insecurity and social unrest going forward.

From the content and thrust of its policies, this administration is certainly not running the country for the benefit of the Nigerian people. The administration is running the country on the economic prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. These institutions themselves represent the interests of countries that have developed and grown on the backs of continuing plunder of the resources of countries like Nigeria. These countries have taken it as a given and entitlement to rob and deny us our right to our God-given wealth. Removal of subsidies which benefits our people is one of the main policies they recommend in this regard. Those subsidies removed return to their countries in form of capital flight and transfers, receipts, dubious debt servicing, loans and debt recycling and so on.

As the administration feels more beholden to these western institutions from which it seeks validation than to the Nigerian people, it shows scant regard for their sensitivity and feelings in pushing through such toxic and obnoxious policies.     

The Tinubu administration should not continue to push its luck too far with its cynicism and contempt of the Nigerian people with its economic policies. Already, the people are on edge as a result of the prevailing harsh economic conditions in the country inflicted by the administration, and it only takes an event to light the whole tinderbox of discontent in the country.


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