From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Northern groups, under the auspices of Conference of Northern States Civil Society Network have written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the situation in the country.
In the letter, signed by 19 Chairmen of respective Civil Society Organizations in northern Nigeria on December 9, titled; “An Appeal To Address The Increasing Insecurities, Social, Economic And Other Governance Issues In Nigeria,” the group said the proposed fuel subsidy removal is practically inconceivable, unworkable, ill – time and anti-masses.
According to the group, the proposed fuel subsidy removal would not see the light of the day “at this critical economic condition, characterized by high and increasing inflation, unemployment, high cost of living, insecurity.
“Your Excellency, sir, we wish to register the concerns of the Nigerian citizens on the proposal to remove fuel subsidy in Nigeria by 2022. We acknowledge that, petroleum sector contributes substantially to the Nigerian economy; nonetheless the prospective benefits are diminished due to the practice of significant subsidies on imports of petroleum products.
“ However, subsidies on imported petroleum products are considered to be an important strategy which keeps fuel prices low and the cost of living.
“We must therefore acknowledge that, the proposal for the removal of subsidy on fuel is certainly one of the most contentious socio-economic policy issue which deserves a second thought, considering how critical the time is, as many households could not feed or cater for the immediate needs of their families, due to the high cost of living, and increasing inflation.
“Nigerians are dying slowly due to rising cost of living as the country’s inflation hits a 4-year high by more than 18 percent in March, with food prices going high by almost 23 percent high-ceilinged prices,” the groups said.
The groups also called on Buhari to be resolute and rise up to the challenge to bring an end to insecurity ravaging northern Nigeria, especially farmers/herders conflicts, rising prices of commodities, lack of employment opportunities, among other problems bidevilling the country.
“We urge the Federal Government to ignore the bunch of some hired faceless political civil society organizations, who always seek to cash on a situation, not minding the consequences of their actions on the majority of Nigerian citizens. It is time for the Federal Government to focus its energy to address the rising inflation in the Country, and work hard towards alleviating the sufferings of the Nigerians, who slowly die in silence and agony,” said the groups.