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Why poverty grows in Nigeria, by PENGASSAN

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
16 December 2022   |   4:38 am
Poverty in Nigeria, which grows by the day, is largely caused by irresponsible political leadership, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has said.

Festus Osifo

Flays payment of pension to political officeholders

Poverty in Nigeria, which grows by the day, is largely caused by irresponsible political leadership, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has said.

At the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the President, Festus Osifo, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver a credible election to Nigerians in 2023.

Osifo, who made a strong case for the usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the elections, urged INEC to resist any manipulation of the process.

“Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other key actors in the electoral process should use this window to reassure Nigerians that the 2023 general elections would be credible, free and fair. Specifically, the aspects dealing with the use of electronic devices such as BVAS should not be toyed with, if we truly desire elections that will stand the test of time,” Osifo explained.

The PENGASSAN boss urged Nigerians to closely watch the four newly sworn in Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) because of the process that threw them up.

On the link between elections, political office holders, good governance and the worsening poverty situation in the country, PENGASSAN slammed elected officers, who derive pleasure in inflicting social and economic pains on the proletariat.

He added: “We are worried at the ever-increasing poverty status of Nigerians, despite the abundance of human and natural resources. A report by the Federal Government through the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the results of the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey released in November 2022 shows that poverty in all ramifications has got to worst. ”

“The survey, which was a collaborative effort between NBS, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and others, was conducted between February and November 2022 that provides multidimensional poverty estimates at the senatorial district level.”

Highlights of the 2022 MPI survey, The Guardian gathered, reveal that 63 per cent (133 million) of persons in Nigeria are multi-dimensionally poor.
PENGASSAN also reiterated its opposition to pensions paid to political office holders amid reluctance to approve wage increment for workers.

“Nigeria has suffered two recessions in five years under this present administration with the workers and the poor masses left to bear the brunt, and the economy remains in a bad shape on all fronts. Based on the above, we view the recent clamour by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to increase the salaries and allowances of top public officeholders as highly insensitive and an affront to the struggling masses and the working class.

“The only group entitled to pay rise are the downtrodden Nigerian workers and at best the judges. The President, his vice, governors, lawmakers and other political appointees do not require a pay rise. The Economist of London already lists Nigeria’s lawmakers as the highest paid in the world. It is, therefore, provocative to consider increasing their pay packages without acceptable justification. We are also saddened by the continuous payment of pensions to ex-governors and their deputies, even in states nearing insolvency.”

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