As the National Economic Council (NEC) Wednesday pegged petrol pump price at N302 per litre, Nigerian former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), has cautioned the Federal Government to desist from the act of further impoverishing the people.
He made this statement while speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja.
He said this following the recommendation issued by the National Economic Council for fuel price to be pegged at N302 per litre.
The former Head of State said, “Insecurity in the country is worsened by our dear economic situation. Unemployment and underemployment remain at a high level. Over 18 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty. All of these tend to have negative effects on security. In fact, Nigeria now faces a full security crisis that is confounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.
“Most of these have disrupted the final value change across the country and negatively impacted the ability of Nigeria to produce, process, and distribute.
“There is a continuous rise in the prices of food items beyond the reach of many Nigerians. On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November. We all know that when this happens, it will push many millions of Nigerians into poverty.”
On insecurity, Abdulsalami stated that the situation has overstretched the country’s security forces and has led to the death of thousands.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is once again at crossroads. Insecurity remains the single, most difficult challenge for the country. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, violence in the South-East, kidnappings and abductions of travellers across many states all continue to fester in the land.
“In addition to these, ethnic, communal and religious conflicts are rearing their head again in many parts of the country. All of these have greatly challenged and overstretched our security forces. This has caused thousands of deaths and millions of internally displaced persons in the country over the past years,” he said.