Nigerians, businesses are suffering, Tony Elumelu laments
Chairman of Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu on Wednesday said it is unthinkable that Nigerians are suffering despite the country being endowed with a lot of natural resources.
The prevailing hardship, he said, should spur Nigerians to elect better leaders when the country goes to poll to elect its new leaders.
Elumelu, the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), said the situation in Nigeria was getting “worse and worse” as biting fuel scarcity and worsening electricity supply, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation continue to pile pressure on the people.
Many parts of Nigeria have been without electricity for days after the national grid collapsed twice this week. The first was on Monday and the second on Tuesday while a repair to fix it was ongoing.
The power outage was preceded by weeks of petrol fuel scarcity which caused a huge spike in the prices of commodities, transportation and food items.
Many filling stations in the country no longer sell for the N160 official price. Fuel now sell for about N180 to N220 in many petrol stations in Nigeria. Prices of the product at the black market is even higher.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari said he regrets “the inconvenience caused to citizens of the country following a prolonged shortage of petroleum products.”
Prices of diesel have since gone up from about N288 to over 500, with many Nigerian businesses mulling the idea of closing up shops temporarily due to the spiking costs of fuelling power generators.
“I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship,” Elumelu said. “And speaking of security, our people are afraid!”
“Businesses are suffering. How can we be losing over 95% of oil production to thieves?
Elumelu, who is also the chairman of Heirs Oil and Gas, blamed the shortfall in Nigeria’s daily oil production quota on the inability of the security agencies to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta.
“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!” Elumelu said.
“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.”