• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Nigeria’s present crisis self-imposed, says Utomi

Nigeria’s present crisis self-imposed, says Utomi

Pat Utomi, a professor and political economist, has described Nigeria as a difficult place to live at the moment, saying the country is at the crossroads.

Utomi, who made the observation in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay, said part of the crisis facing the country was self-imposed.

“Nigeria is challenged. Nigeria is at the crossroads. Nigeria has exhausted Nigerians in terms of their faith in governance and governing, and Nigerians are on the verge of despair,” he said.

The founder of Centre for Values in Leadership deplored the high level of insecurity in the country and the escalating prices of petroleum products, which he noted had further impacted the lives of citizens negatively.

Read also: Insecurity: Federal Government not doing enough – Fani-Kayode

He said: “In their homes, violence can meet them; they can be brought out at night and shot. In fact, in many parts of Nigeria, some people don’t sleep in their homes because they think it is dangerous; in the night they run into the bush and in the morning, they come back to their homes. What kind of life is that? So, insecurity reigns.

“In these times, Nigerians face galloping inflation. Part of it is self-imposed; part of it is circumstances. Galloping from the fact we have so mismanaged this economy that the two things that top our import bill are the two things we should be exporting: food and petrol – paradox of paradox.

“And you know some people have been in power forever and it does not shock them that something like that is the situation. Of course, there is the imported part of the inflation that comes from the supply chain crisis that came with COVID and the Russian-Ukrainian scenario. But this is partly because we did not do enough to build up our food security for our people when things were normal. So, we are completely vulnerable as a country.”

Utomi also decried the worsening state of power supply, saying, “Nigerians are also suffering from a state where power supply has been so terrible, where the national grid just collapses with such rapidity that you wonder if it is going to stay down permanently. Recently, I was coming home from work, and I saw public power supply in my house, I nearly had a heart attack.

“It was the first time that I returned to my home in two or three months and there was public power. Of course, two hours or so later, it was gone. But the shock of seeing it at all was something I never expected in the middle of the impossible price of diesel.

“Nothing seems to be working anymore and the government is saying nothing and doing nothing.”