• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s economic solution beyond palliatives – Cleric

Effects of hardship, hunger and poverty on mental health

A Pentecostal Cleric in Delta State, Enrich Iritevwobor has called on the government to get back to the root by fixing the refineries, diversifying the nation’s economy, saying that Nigeria’s economic solution was beyond palliatives.

Iritevwobor warned that ignoring other sectors of the economy and over-depending on the oil sector was the major reason citizens cannot breathe, especially in the present administration led by President Bola Tinubu.

The cleric, who is the senior apostle, Reigners Assemblies Outreach International, Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, said the solution to the economic pain in the country was for the President to take the country back to the good old days where refineries were working.

“I don’t believe in that thing they call fuel subsidy because it is a scheme introduced in Nigeria by corrupt military regimes to kill the nation’s economy. “This scheme has been inherited by the civilian leaders who have continued to enjoy it and from time to time they toy with our lives by way of fuel subsidy removal,” he said.

Iritevwobor, who is also the programme coordinator, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Aniocha South LGA, Delta State, said over-dependence on the petroleum sector was responsible for the lip-service the government pays to the issue of economic diversification.

Read also: Fuel subsidy removal: Palliatives to go through DSIEC structure – Delta Government

“We continue to hear of economic diversification yet the economy is stagnated and poor masses dying of hunger.

“Before the discovery of crude oil, our country used to have agriculture as the mainstay of the economy as we produced, exported and survived on it but today, that sector has been neglected to the extent that our food security is threatened,” he said.

Speaking further on the subsidy removal, he said that fuel subsidy removal has crumbled every aspect of the citizens’ livelihood including agriculture, as farmers now find it difficult to transport farm produce to target markets as cost of transportation has increased tremendously.

“Even the palliatives rolled out by FG and state governments won’t impact positively on the masses because the politicians entrusted with the distribution would divert them to their families, friends and cronies just like they did in 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rather than borrowing to provide palliatives that would be diverted, fuel should be made affordable and available to the citizens,” he said.