The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed concern over the escalating cost of living in the country, highlighting its detrimental effects on Nigerians and businesses, leading to increased poverty levels and hindered production.
In a press statement issued yesterday by the Director-General of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the association commended some government efforts, including the removal of fuel subsidy, measures to curb oil theft, and the ongoing tax administration system reform.
However, it urged the government to take more decisive steps to address the deepening sense of hopelessness among Nigerians and the impact on organized businesses.
Businesses and households in the country are currently facing severe strain, with rapidly changing factor costs disrupting production plans and inadequate real income affecting household consumption.
Over the past year, Nigeria has witnessed persistently rising inflation, commodity price fluctuations, reduced industry capacity utilization, and declining purchasing power for citizens, leading to the closure of numerous enterprises and a higher number of Nigerians living below the poverty line.
Oyerinde called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to prioritize policies aimed at improving living standards for the masses, urging swift and deliberate responses to mitigate the rising cost of living.
The fuel subsidy removal and the possibility of an increase in electricity tariffs have further fueled public agitation.
To address the pressing economic challenges, NECA recommended several measures, including price stability mechanisms, regular updates on refinery work progress, a reconsideration of VAT on diesel (AGO), and a suspension of the planned upward review of electricity tariffs.
Additionally, the government should expedite the implementation of palliative measures to provide immediate relief to individuals and corporations alike.
Meanwhile, Stand Up Nigeria protesters demonstrated their support for the fuel subsidy removal and President Tinubu’s policies by marching to the National Assembly.
The convener of the group, Sunday Attah, emphasized that the subsidy removal was a necessary step to salvage the nation’s fragile economy.
there have been mixed reactions to the measure, the protesters believe that other complementary measures will contribute to economic growth and encourage citizens to perceive the increase in petroleum product prices as a required sacrifice for the nation’s prosperity.
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