The current deplorable socio-economic conditions in the country should make Nigerians to hold their leaders more accountable during and after the 2023 elections, Chairman, United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu, has said.
Elumelu, who is also the Chairman, Heirs Holdings, and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, was bemoaning the fast deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the country in a series of tweets through his verified Twitter handle, @TonyOElumelu, to highlight the dire situation and the need to be circumspect of the leaders they elect come 2023 elections.
In recent times, the people have has to grapple with a number of issues, which culminated in unprecedented sufferings and hardships across the country.
Early this month, Nigerians were faced with the issue of adulterated petroleum products imported into the country, which resulted scarcity of the commodity and long queues of anxious motorists at filling stations across the country.
While the people managed to survive the harsh situation occasioned by the fuel scarcity, particularly the spiraling cost of transportation and rising inflation on goods and services, the growing problem of epileptic power supply, characterised by low generation and rationed supply.
Last week, the situation worsened, with the total collapse of the national grid, throwing the entire country into darkness for almost 48 hours.
Although the situation appears to have improved, with the recovery of the national grid and restoration of electricity supply in most parts of the country, public schools have been shut down, with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) extending their one-month warning strike by additional two months.
Inflation rate in February inched up by one percent to 15.7 percent from 15.6 percent recorded in January, showing the declining state of the country’s economy.
Lamenting the growing frustration among the people nationwide, Elumelu who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transcorps PLC and Transcorps Power, captured the irony of a country blessed with huge natural resources, but blighted by poverty as a result poor leadership.
Below are excerpts from the tweets: “This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face everyday in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse – no electricity for 5 days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, etc.
“How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90% of its citizens living in hardship and poverty? I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking of security, our people are afraid!
“Businesses are suffering. How can we be losing over 95% of oil production to thieves?
“Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200k barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator @Shell to declare force majeure.
“Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple!
“Meanwhile, oil producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rising. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable!
“Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority.
“Evil prevails when good people are silent. We need to be vocal about 2023. Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver.
In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development,” Elumelu said.