By: Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim
As hunger is crushing Nigerians to death and the Federal Government is implementing the sharing formula of the N819bn supplementary budget for palliatives Nigerians groan as National Assembly (NASS) take the lion share of the money, while 12 million Nigerians get N8, 000 for six months.
The prizes of food stuffs soar and people suffer after the subsidy removal, youth corp members posted to various states to serve the country are suffocating by hunger as N33,000 cannot afford their transportation and feeding with the current inflation index.
While NASS is sharing the palliative money nothing is been said on the welfare of youth corp members that dedicate their strength and vigor to serve the nation. 400,000 youth corp members are annually posted to various states of non indigene to serve the people and the nation, hence as unemployed need succor at this time of economic hardship to survive, and their situation should be considered.
Even in a response for the sharing formula of the 12 billion Naira by the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) didn’t mention corp members among the beneficiaries of the palliatives.
Despite the fact, not only the youth corp members face the hardship of the time, the masses do, at the present hunger hunts to kill Nigerians:
How painful could this be when a father is crowded by his wife and three children, the second child of three said to the father “Daddy I am hungry, I need food… I will die of hunger.” And the helpless father bursted into tears, without mincing a word, sluggishly and staggering went outside the room crying profusely like a baby? That was a true story.
For a bitter truth; Nigerians are living a hellish life, they helplessly watch their loved ones dying of diseases because of poverty and hunger amidst the subsidy removal.
Many families, even children of tender age eat only once a day. Poverty has taken over the affairs of Nigerians as we surrendered to it’s wickedness.
Nothing is easy and cheaply accessible in Nigeria, life has become unbearable and very expensive that only less than a quarter of the population can afford the condition.
Only few are exceptional from the heat of the moment after the subsidy removal; civil servants have become the true servants of hunger, marketers and traders are eating from their capital. Almost, all Nigerians are living a deficit life. Inflation is trending while schools have become expensive for students to bear. People now give collateral of their goods, items and working tools to collect food for their families, marriage has become flexible because of poverty and hunger among loved couples.
Food prizes have skyrocketed and nothing is cheaply affordable to satisfy the venomous hunger. One can wondered how the prize of sweet potato become unbearable. A portion of N200 after two months is now N1,000, maize flour jacked to N1,000. In fact all food items have jacked up and the prizes are soaring.
Hunger has destroyed hope, ambitions have become empty and Nigerians’ visions lies on survival, poverty becomes the devil among the saints, while poverty gives birth to crimes and criminals life is becoming tougher and suffocating. How can maximum security be achievable in the doom time of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency?
Subsidy removal, even though good for Nigeria but the effect is devastating because no pre-measures taken to address the post challenges.
While Nigerians are in abject poverty, others cannot eat three meals a day but the National Assembly members didn’t change to sacrifice anything for Nigeria’s development amidst the fuel subsidy hardship.
In just less than two months the 469 National Assembly members proposed 140% salary, 70 billion Naira palliative, proposed N40bn for cars, N24bn for accommodation, N110bn allowances for wardrobe, newspapers, kitchen and travelling domestic for themselves.
Even though NASS got N328.1bn in the 2023 budget and collect the highest salary than all government workers in Nigeria but NASS always seek and ask for more. While the 469 National Assembly members are voted to represent the voters, they argue most about their interests and represent themselves than the citizens.
But, if the National Assembly members and the President should prioritize the voters’ interests and work accordingly, there will be no: political thuggery, political dogs, political beggars, political warfare and venomous hunger in the land. But, unfortunately politicians can do anything to get power for unlimited favors.
With many suggestion from people on how the Government should share the palliative fund to ease the difficult experience lives of Nigerians, the government should consider the three most important areas of human life: agriculture, education and health.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim is a lecturer of Mass Communication Department, Kaduna Polytechnic and can be reached via auwalahmed@