Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, the Executive Director of the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), has issued a warning about potential economic repercussions and the likelihood of public unrest in response to the proposed increases in electricity tariffs and fuel prices amidst the ongoing socio-economic challenges in Nigeria,Daily Trust report.
In a statement released on Friday, Zikirullahi expressed deep concern over the conflicting information surrounding the alleged plans to raise the prices of petrol and electricity tariffs, deeming them both alarming and unacceptable.
He pointed out that the controversy arose shortly after the World Bank advocated for changes in these two areas, suggesting that the federal government’s apparent disregard for the concerns of Nigerians was evident.
Zikirullahi emphasized that despite denials from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the ongoing back-and-forth on these issues suggested a hidden agenda.
As he stated, “There is no smoke without fire.” Zikirullahi suggested that the persistent debates on fuel and service price hikes support the belief that the government might be intentionally testing the resilience of the Nigerian people, pushing them to their limits.
He highlighted the Chief Economist of the World Bank’s remarks in December, indicating that the current petrol price does not accurately reflect its true cost and should be sold at N750 or higher. Zikirullahi criticized the government’s apparent indifference to the citizens’ struggles, describing it as disheartening and unfortunate.
Despite President Bola Tinubu’s rhetoric about empathy and understanding the people’s pain, Zikirullahi noted that the public now faces the looming threat of additional burdensome policies in the New Year, compounding the severe economic challenges caused by what he described as the government’s insensitive policies.