Nigeria Drifting Into Chaos Over Poor Economy – ACF Warns

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The pan-northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, on Tuesday, warned that Nigeria is gradually drifting into chaos following the economic hardship that has engulfed it as a result of the subsidy removal.

The pan-northern body lamented that the hard times, including inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living coupled with incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry faced by the average citizens, were becoming unbearable.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting which was held at the 11A Sokoto Secretariat of the ACF, Kaduna on Tuesday, urged Nigerians to pray for divine intervention in the affairs of the land.

A communique issued at the end of the one-day meeting by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, blamed the economic hardship on fuel subsidy removal, introduction of taxes and levies by the Federal Government, saying that these policies were responsible for rapid decline in living conditions of citizens.

Against this background, the ACF, however, called on Nigerians to rally round the Federal Government in prayers for divine intervention on the current economic hardship in the land..

Besides, the northern body cautioned government officials against recklessness in spending of public funds.

The Communique partly read, “with grave concern regrets and decries the continuing, the deterioration or escalation in the spate of insecurity-related incidents in all three geopolitical zones under which the northern states are grouped.

“These problems reflect on the region’s cascading political, social, economic challenges. NEC reiterates ACF’s earlier expressed position that the emergent protracted dimension of these problems, if untamed, are harbingers of citizens’ discontent, social chaos.

“Equally worrisome is the widening regional disparities in social demographic factors, such as access to education, health public, infrastructure, economic inclusion, political participation, living conditions, etc.

“Governments must move to curb such disparities so as to ensure that Nigeria does not become two-states-in-one. Factors that unify rather than divide citizens along any lines should attract the attention of all concerned, government and citizens alike.

“As it has severally reiterated in recent public outings, ACF calls for urgent action and definitive attention, by government at all levels, to confront rapid decline in living conditions of citizens.

“The addition of new taxes and levies becomes increasingly burdensome, too heavy to bear for ordinary Nigerians. The need for a roll out of public policy programmes and projects aimed at addressing low purchasing power challenges is clearly indicated.”

It added, “On the national front and specifically applicable to the Northern states, NEC notes that the times continue to be tough and challenging for the average citizen who is daily confronted with runaway inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living in the face of incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry, etc., problems that have remained dire, acute (or even chronic in some places in the North in particular.

“The immediate causes of the problems have been policies put in place by government over the past months, including but not confined to removal of subsidies from the prices of petroleum products, floating of the Naira, and astronomical hike in the cost of poorly supplied electricity, increasing tariffs and taxes against the seemingly insensitive profligacy in spendings by public officials, to list a few.

“ACF acknowledges the efforts of the Federal, state and, to a little extent, local governments have been making efforts to tackle the problems identified above. However, overall, it is undeniable, perhaps due to the quantum and widening dimension of the problems, that public policy response to the problems remains weak and ineffective at best.

“ACF calls on citizens to rally around the government and offer prayers for God Almighty’s intervention in our various tribulations such as will translate into a new, prosperous Nigeria where justice, equity, love, righteousness and hope emerge to replace the current despair and hopelessness.

“To inspire the spirit of needed sacrifices by citizens, ACF calls on public functionaries to shun profligacy and recklessness in spending of public funds.”