The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has urged the President, Bola Tinubu to sought for debt relief for the country and also reduce the salaries of public officials.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, the group worries about the country’s debt burden, saying if nothing is done, “very soon there may be no more funds for the provision of social services and infrastructure”.
“To prevent attendant possible social chaos in this respect, President Tinubu needs to embark on diplomatic shuttles to get debt forgiveness from our creditors,” the statement read in part.
“Doing so would certainly be herculean in view of a similar benefit we enjoyed under former President Olusegun Obasanjo circa 2005 but which we later mismanaged. But given the potential of Nigeria and the possibility of President Tinubu to convince everyone that his own administration is going to be different, it is possible that the creditors may listen to the plea.”
“For such a plea to succeed however, there is an urgent need to drastically cut down on the emolument of public officials, especially political office holders, block the holes through which public funds leak and wage a serious war against corrupt officers – presently in or out of office,” the group added.
“It is only by doing these three things that those we approach for debt forgiveness would listen to us.
“For instance, the National Assembly cornering N70 billion out of the N500 billion announced for palliatives is not only uncalled for, it demonstrated clearly how insensitive our elected officers are to the plight of average Nigerians. The President should prevail on them to rescind their decision in this regard.”
It noted that “there has been not much improvement in electricity supply to justify tariff increase. But more importantly, Nigerian masses are presently over-burdened with sundry taxes and high costs for services and commodities”.
“Similarly, recent hikes in school fees across the country should be rescinded so as to prevent more hardship for the people and higher number of school drop-outs,” Afenifere noted.