June 13, 2024

The Claver Magazine

… the claver way

Rights Group Meet In Lagos, Lament Steady Slide Of Naira Against The Dollar, Rising Cost Of Living, Insecurity, And Increase In Transportation

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….Call on FG to rise to the occasion, Empower SMEs

Peterclaver Egbochue

A group of Civil Society Organizations converged on Lagos over the weekend to address the plight of Nigerians particularly the steady slide of the naira against the dollar which has reduced the purchasing power resulting in the rising cost of living, general insecurity in the country, increase in transportation among other issues and called on the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion.

They maintained that the steady slide of the naira against the dollar will continue unabated until Nigeria begins to produce and export goods and services abroad to attract foreign exchange and also urged the Federal Government to empower the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises with funds in form of loans and grants to enable the operators to remain in business.

Comrade Iche flanked by some members from Mushin, Lagos.

The groups and their representatives include; Comrade Prince Saviour Iche, National President of the Ambassadors for Peace and Enlightenment Foundation, (AMPEF), Comrade Daniel Oguine, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), Comrade Chris Emelifonwu, National President of Strong Bridge Human Rights Initiative, Comrade Solomon Neye and others.

In his opening remark, the convener and host of the event, Comrade Prince Saviour Iche noted that Nigeria is a great country with abundant mineral resources but blamed its woes on poor leadership over the years which have steadly weaponized poverty.

He regretted that even the religious leaders are not speaking up as much as they should because most of them have compromised.

Comrade Iche acknowledged that the civil society organizations have enormose responsibilities to hold the government accountable and charged his colleaques to be well organized, equip themselves with the relevant knowledge and prepared for the task ahead. He charged them to be law-abiding too.  

Comrade Iche who is the National president Association of Micro Entreprenuers of Nigeria, AMEN, disclosed that the CSOs would initiate a movement that will shock the nation and urged his colleaques to engage in viable businesses that will sustain them and ensure that they do not compromise.

A cross section of the members of the CSOs at the event in Lagos, on Saturday.

In his words, “Dollar cannot come down because Nigeria is not a producing country, Nigeria is a consuming nation and no consuming country survives because we are not selling anything tangible to any country. There’s no magic about it. The naira is weak and will continue without remedy except the government turns Nigeria into a producing nation.

“Right now, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria are in coma. If the government wants to strengthen the naira, then, they should go back to the days of 2015.

“If you look at the 2024 budget, you will discover that it is simply for consumption”.

Comrade Iche added that he is ready to volunteer his knowledge on how to rijig the economy if approached as an industrialist who started with just N20,000.00 which he even borrowed some years ago which he has been able to grow.

In his contribution, Comrade Neye decried the rise in fuel price following the removal of subsidy by the federal government which has affected the prices of other goods and services in the country, stressing that those who work with the president do not tell him the truth.

He disclosed that the removal of subsidy by President Bola Tinubu has not helped the common man on the street, adding that there’s no accurate record of the volume of crude oil taken from the country.

Comrade Neye urged the federal government to regulate the price of petroluem products to save the poor masses.

On his part, Comrade Daniel Oguine lamented that the present administration of Bola Tinubu has brought untold hardship on Nigerians citing the rate of inflation and the rising cost of living, stressing that the economy is in its worse state now especially for the common man.

He called on the CSOs to form a synergy to be able to muster a strong force that will challenge government’s obnoxious policies against the people.

Comrade Chris Emeleifeonwu, on his part stated that the removal of subsidy has affected transportation and by extension other segments of the economy in the country especially the SMEs.

According to him, one of the measures to address the problem in the transportation sector is for the government to set up modular refineries across the country to take care of local consumption of fuel.