Majority of Nigerian are living below standard. Poverty in this country is becoming a norm. The citizenry are complaining, lamenting, crying and suffering, all because of the situation we have found ourselves in. Even the rich are equally crying. And where do we go from here?
Since the inception of the present administration; since President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over the leadership of this country, Nigeria has ceased to be what it was known for. Yes, there is no doubt about the poverty rate that has befallen this country which has worsened by the day.
Nigerians in the last six months have been suffering and lamenting because of the high cost of living generated by the fuel scarcity. This came up when the federal government announced the removal of fuel subsidy, and the importation of fuel at high cost, as the naira keeps falling, which invariably increases the fuel pump price. Every filling station has its own price rate, which ranges from N300 to N500 per litre, sometimes more.
In Rivers State and other Southern states today, people are suffering because the cost of things are very high and the cost of transportation of goods are very high, making things rise out of the reach of the poor.
Late last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN came up with plans to change to new naira notes with effect from January 31, 2023. The introduction of this new naira notes has not been easy for the masses. At first, they said the old naira notes will not be in use after January 31, 2023, and when they noticed it would not work, they extended it to February 10, 2023.
This plan to mop up the old naira notes from the hands of citizens is seriously creating a lot of suffering. The new naira notes are not in circulation except for the well connected. The ordinary Nigerian is facing serious frustration, hunger and pain. You will take your money to the bank for exchange, expecting to get new naira notes, and what you hear is, “We don’t even have single new naira note here,” but you have deposited what you have and are now left with nothing in your house.
When you go to POS service centres, they will charge N200 for N1,000 collected, plus the bank charges which the bank will charge you after your transaction. At the end of the month, they will equally charge withholding tax charges and all that. People are stranded, needs that need to be met, are not met, because the new money is not in circulation-either the CBN did not print enough currency or the banks are making brisk business behind the scene with the new notes.
The CBN and APC-led federal government, Nigerians are saying, we are not politicians and we do not eat from politicians, please, kindly make things easy for the citizens of this country. Enough of this hardship! Enough of the unnecessary punishment! Let us have cash in the system please!
Banks should be warned not to horde money for politicians for the forthcoming elections, we need our money to survive the hardship of this country, even if we don’t get from the government, allow us to struggle with what we have and make our ends meet.
What we are seeing today may, or will lead to anarchy and revolution, if not handled properly. Be warned!
– Juliana Nwanochieze, from Port Harcourt.