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One year of hopelessness, Labour Party Reps knock Tinubu

The Labour Party (LP) caucus in the House of Representatives has described President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s one year in office as a “reign of economic hardship, insecurity and hopelessness”, contrary to the promised ‘Renewed Hope’ mantra of the administration.

This was contained in a State-of-the-Nation statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday and signed by the caucus Leader, Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, to mark the first year anniversary of the current dispensation.

The LP caucus said, “it’s bewildering that the economy of the nation has dangerously continued on a free fall, one year after the inauguration of the current administration, thereby casting a cloud of doubt on the capacity of the All Progressives Congress ((APC) government to rescue the nation from the current situation, especially after what it described as “the precarious eight years of the past administration, characterised by widespread despair.”

“After last year’s glitch-determined presidential election, and the legal gymnastics which ratified the indolent behaviour of the electoral umpire, our caucus had taken a backseat, in the patriotic hope that, maybe, just maybe, the beneficiary administration would be able to wrought magic and pull the nation from the precipice of economic annihilation.

“But, as can be obviously felt by the blind, and seen by the deaf; the entire country has, after one year, come to the full and unambiguous understanding of what President Bola Tinubu meant, when he said that his administration would continue with the ‘legacies’ of his predecessor.”

According to the LP Reps, “The current staggering negative economic indices should alarm every Nigerian, as it has left many previous optimists, including ourselves, in glaring shock.”

It stated that the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicated that food inflation rate in March 2024 was 40.01 percent on a year-on-year basis – an increase of 15.56 percent points higher, compared to the 24.45 percent rate recorded in March 2023

“Curiously, the NBS had pointed out that the disturbing rise in food inflation was caused by an increase in prices of garri, millet, bread and cereal, yam, dried fish, meat, and fruits, considered to be mostly every day staple food for the ordinary man, who is now forced to battle with daily hunger as a result of food scarcity and decreasing purchasing power.”

The LP lawmakers also noted that “From 29.9% in January – the highest since 1996 – Nigeria’s general inflation rate today stands at 33.20% and a poverty rate of 38.9%.

“Price of petrol has risen from N238.11 per litre, to N701.24, which is an increase of 194.5 %. Cooking gas price has increased by over 70%, diesel from N844.28 per litre to N1,415.02, which is 67.6% and public debt from N87.38trn to N97.34trn, an increase of 11.4%.

“Also, interest rate for bank loans which manufacturers and small and medium enterprises depend on for business and economic activities has increased in the past year, from 22.41 % to 33.69 %, which is an increase of 31.15 %.

“These verifiable figures and the excruciating living conditions of the people, more than any other thing, underscore the fact that in just one year, the APC government has earned an unenviable record of perpetuating a cycle of poverty and underdevelopment, in spite of the flowery campaign promises it made just last year.

The caucus lamented that the Tinubu’s administration was yet to fulfill its eight-point agenda in his Renewed Hope Agenda’ mantra.

The Caucus said further that, “President Tinubu campaigned on the mantra of ‘Renewed Hope Agenda.’ This was anchored on an eight-point agenda, which formed his social contract with the Nigerian electorate: food security, poverty alleviation, growth, job creation, access to capital, inclusion, rule of law and anti-corruption fight.

“This economic plan raised cautious optimism in many because it embodies the concept of utilitarianism – ultimate good to the greatest number.

“But now, we hasten to ask, has Nigerians seen any indication of fulfillment of those promises? On the contrary, the ordinary man on the street is weeping and wailing, with pervasive hunger hunting millions of homes. So, what we see, in actual sense, are failed promises.

“We also call on government to intensify the fight against corruption, with transparent governance and accountability being paramount. We also warn that government should desist from throwing the nation to the whims of foreign financial institutions, whose policies in developing countries are often anti-people.”