The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) is mobilising a coalition of civil society groups to join Nigeria’s labour movements to protest against the recent hike in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff.
The CNPP, which is the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country said this in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Willy Ezugwu.
According to the group, it will work with a coalition of civil society organisations, to collaborate with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the struggle for the reversal of the increments.
The CNPP while stating that Nigerians have ran out of patience said, “The federal government is now taking the Nigerian people for a ride, cashing in on the long benefit of doubt given to President Muhammadu Buhari to bring about the change we all desired.”
The political group said the government, when it increased pump price to N145 per litre in the past, gave the impression that subsidy had been removed, but failed to allow market forces to determine the prices of petroleum products.
“As if that was not bad enough, the federal government increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) and in the midst of the hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, electricity tariff was also increased at a time Nigerians were demanding that the federal government should, as part of the pandemic palliative, give free electricity to citizens.
“There is no government in the world that is not subsidizing one sector or the other for its citizens. Most western countries are heavily subsidizing agriculture for their population. What is Nigerian government doing for the citizens?”
It said that the government has failed to ease the burden of Nigerians, as it increases prices and tariffs at a time governments in other lands are giving subsidies and support to their citizens to alleviate the impact of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the CNPP expressed surprise that rather than share in the efforts to tackle the prevailing economic problems, government and its officials pile the problems on the citizens. It says, “We are shocked that instead of reducing the cost of running government in Nigeria, the federal government have continued to tax the ordinary people to maintain life of luxury by political office holders.”
To substantiate this, the CNPP recalls the decision of the national assembly to buy foreign cars for its members, rather than patronise local assembly plants, even as they demonstrate preference for foreign goods.