Buhari administration and People of Nigeria Suffering!

Written By Rotimi Fasan
There are actually very concrete ways to

measure the increasing cost of living in Nigeria

which in turn explains why Nigerians are

increasingly disenchanted with the Muhammadu

Buhari administration. A simple way to go about

this is to measure how the cost of common

household goods and foodstuffs have either

tripled or quadrupled in the last six months or

thereabout.

An example is rice, a

Nigerian staple that

the country invariably

imports from wherever

it could be found. It

isn’t that Nigeria does

not produce rice at all.

But as we’ve never

really paid more than

lip service to local

production of rice,

what we produce does

not amount to much

given our rate of consumption. In addition to

that, the local varieties of rice available are of

incredibly low grade even when we tend to make

a fetish of one or two highly rated varieties that

the people have to pay so much to buy owing to

limited supply. And so we pay N19, 000 now for

a 50kgs bag of rice that was N8, 000 last

December.

Until about two months ago Nigerians couldn’t

find tomatoes to buy in the market. Where they

were available they were simply unaffordable to

the average consumer. All kinds of excuses,

ranging from the logical, the merely speculative

to the outright stupid, were proffered for the

scarcity. It was clear that we were in a state of

emergency but we all soldiered on stoically until

the situation gradually started turning around.

While some said the problem was caused by the

scarcity of dollars, or simply the incompetence

of the Buhari administration and its inability to

grapple with simple problems, others said the

scarcity of tomato was the outcome of the

despoliation of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.

But many settled for the tale of a virulent

disease that had taken over our tomato farms in

the last two years. What they did not and

probably could not satisfactorily explain was why

the tomato disease should suddenly become a

problem at the time it did. Even less explainable

is why tomato is again available in the market

even when nobody has told us that the disease

allegedly ravaging tomato farms has been

contained.

As it is with rice and tomatoes, so it has been

with other household goods and food items that

have gone out of the reach of Nigerians. A

people who have to pay more for electricity

(never mind the baloney by the government

ordering electricity companies to cut down their

tariffs) even when they spend a sizeable chunk

of their income to buy fuel to power their

generators cannot but be disenchanted.

Kerosene which the vast majority of Nigerians

use costs a lot more today than at any time in

the distant or recent past. Many have resorted to

alternative means of procuring energy that are

mostly harmful to their environment. Even when

people continue to bear the pain in silence it

does not look like there would be any respite any

time soon. Businesses are down and profit is

low. Companies are laying off workers and those

in government employ are not being paid their

salaries for many months at a time. More than 30

state governments in the country are unable to

pay salaries in spite of bail-out from Abuja.

There is a clear link between the increasing cost

of living and the steep drop in the price of oil in

the international market. Even the unborn know

that oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

It is the be-all and end-all of our survival as a

people, by far the main source of revenue for the

country. But in the last one and half year the

price of oil has continued to drop without

anything in sight to suggest a serious

improvement in the state of things. The little rise

in the price of the commodity in the last few

weeks has done nothing to raise hope in any

meaningful way. If anything it is a timely

reminder that our days of dependence on oil are

at an end. Not with the complication that has

been brought into the matter by mushrooming

groups of militants in different parts of the Niger

Delta. These mostly self-seeking groups causing

mayhem in the name of fighting for the survival

of the region have all but destroyed the

country’s capacity to make even modest income

from oil. Pipelines are being vandalized at a rate

that has left our economy gasping for breath.

With this state of social, economic and political

insecurity can it be any surprise that Nigerians

are increasingly impatient waiting for the change

promised them by a Buhari government that

anchored its campaign on the provision of

security? Can the people be blamed for venting

their anger at the failure or inability of

government to ameliorate their pain?

But does the justifiable anger of the people

mean that they made a mistake voting out the

inept government led by Goodluck Jonathan in

last year’s election? Or does the criticism of the

Buhari administration by some of those who had

supported it to victory mean an expression of

national regret in kicking out the corrupt

Jonathan administration? Where did any one of

those supporters of the Jonathan administration

now rearing their head to gloat foolishly at critics

of the Buhari government hear that calling for

the end of the Jonathan administration mean

unquestioning acceptance of whatever is offered

by the successor administration of Buhari, or a

suspension of our right to criticize what could be

wrong with the new administration? But that is

the nonsense that the Jonathanphiles would

want us to believe because it was the kind of

blind allegiance that they demonstrated to that

excuse of an administration.

For the avoidance of doubt, let those who have

forgotten be reminded that the situation Nigeria

finds itself today, a state of social and economic

insecurity and political instability, was brought

upon it by the Jonathan administration. The

corrupt legacy of that administration would take

a very long time to clear off and no amount of

wishful thinking and false attempt at

rehabilitating Jonathan can remove from the fact

that his administration made so much money

from oil sales but failed signally to save for the

future of this country. In being disenchanted with

this government and criticizing Buhari what

Nigerians are saying is that the administration

does not have eternity to bring about the change

it promised them. What they are saying is that

this government should double down to the

immediate task of bringing economic and social

relief to the people. Otherwise, they know the

source of their trouble: that the rain started to

beat them under Goodluck Jonathan.

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Author: Chosenoneblog

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