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Governors Face Scrutiny as Economic Hardship and Hunger Deepen

Governors Face Scrutiny as Economic Hardship and Hunger Deepen

There are growing concerns that despite significant increases in revenue allocations to various levels of government following the elimination of fuel subsidies, state governors are not adequately addressing the suffering of their citizens.

These concerns arise as Nigerians grapple with worsening economic hardship due to escalating inflation and the depreciation of the Naira in the market.

Additionally, the country continues to grapple with security challenges, with frequent attacks by armed individuals across different regions.

Daily Post reports that the prices of goods and services are rising daily, surpassing the affordability of the impoverished.

It is important to note that Nigeria’s economic situation took a turn for the worse on May 29, 2023, following President Bola Tinubu’s announcement of the removal of oil subsidies.

Protests against the biting economic hardship have taken place in several states, including Niger, Kano, Kogi, Ondo, Oyo, and others.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has also expressed dissatisfaction, pointing out that despite substantial budgetary allocations and monthly security votes, the government has failed to address the growing insecurity and economic hardship.

This sentiment is echoed by Northern traditional rulers and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), who have criticized the hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidies, leading to increased transportation costs and food inflation.

While acknowledging the federal government’s responsibility in the current economic crisis, many Nigerians are now questioning the actions taken by state governors to alleviate the suffering of their citizens in their respective regions.

The federal government responded by calling on the governors affiliated with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to explain whether they have utilized the increased allocations for the benefit of the people.

The PDP governors had previously urged the APC-led federal government to address the worsening economic hardship before it spiraled out of control.

In December 2023, the federal government approved N5 billion for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to procure food items for distribution among the poor in their respective regions.

Despite substantial windfalls in revenue allocations, the governors have also received significant support from Tinubu’s administration, including N7 billion and N2 billion each for infrastructure support and fuel subsidy palliatives, respectively.

Against this backdrop, Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, emphasized that state governors have no excuse for not serving their people, as revenue allocations have increased since June 2023.

However, numerous reports indicate that many states and local government workers continue to suffer due to some governors’ failure to fully implement the N30,000 minimum wage.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is currently compiling a list of states that have implemented the wage award policy, shedding light on the states’ compliance with the minimum wage requirements.

Nduka Odo, a media and communication scholar, highlighted that the increased revenue allocations to state governments should result in more efforts from governors to alleviate the current hardships faced by Nigerians. He suggested the establishment of a social security funds system in collaboration with other agencies to address the deepening economic crisis.

About the author

Blessing Temi

Blessing Temitope here, bridging the gap between the unfolding world and the power of song lyrics. My pen charts the map of current events while celebrating the artistry behind the music. Join me for a deep dive into the narratives and verses that define our times.

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