The Labour Party (LP) has said it is deeply concerned about the increasing cost of living in Nigeria and advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to seek help in how to manage the situation.
According to LP, millions of Nigerians are battling with the crisis of food shortage and high cost since the turn of the year.
A statement issued by national publicity secretary of the LP, Obiora Ifoh, referenced yesterday’s protest by residents of Minna, the capital of Niger State, who blocked the main roads in the city to protest the high cost of living.
It said, “Women and young people among the demonstrators were heard shouting protest songs while accusing the government of insensibility and inadequate responses.
“As of today, essential commodities such as rice, flour, garri, and protein have witnessed exponential increase in prices since January. For instance, a carton of Indomie noodles now sells for N10,000, a 50kg bag of sugar is now selling at N73, 000 as against N62, 000 sold in early January.
A bag of cement now sells upward of N7000 against N5500, a bag of rice is rising above N70,000, while a kg of meat now sells for N4000, amongst others,”
LP said, adding that the party was aware that the organised labour and the government had been in a long protracted dialogue on a possible salary increase for civil servants.
“There is an air of despondency across the nation.
The immediate fallout of this situation is increasing crime particularly among the youths who are desperate to remain alive; incidences of suicide are in upswing. It has now become a familiar scene for people to jump into the Lagoon, hang themselves or take lethal substances.
“It is either that the government is bereft of ideas on how to check this unfolding catastrophe or that it choose to continue to act as if it is still campaigning for office. This is no time for politics.”
The LP statement recalled that the Tinubu administration had promised Nigerians that by removing fuel subsidy, the economy would be revamped.
It lamented the continuous fall in the value of the naira against the US dollar and expressed concern that the situation is now unsolvable.
The party went on: “We have always said it, that the hasty manner with which President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was obviously basking in the euphoria of his swearing-in, announced the subsidy removal by fiat, his action was not taken through the rigours of consultations and planning. We knew this would lead us into economic trouble. Our leader, Mr. Peter Obi, and our party gave words of caution but we were called names,” the statement added.