A Stitch In Time, Saves Nine: NNPCL Must Stop Indiscriminate Price Increase – By Malam Aliyu Saminu

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If NNPCL are allowed to continue to increase pump price indiscriminately, it will certainly reach the level the country will be grounded completely.

The federal, states and local governments should know that, with continues increase in the pump price of petroleum products and considering the amount paid to employees as salary, it will reach a point they will stop going to work, students will be forced to stop schooling as the income parents are making will not be enough to cater for basic necessities of life, let alone have surplus to be used in paying tuition fees and other accompanying expenditures often incurred whilst sponsoring children to pursue education at various levels.

Likewise, with the continued increase in the price of petroleum products, some Patients, especially those living in rural areas that are faraway from Hospitals cannot afford to transport themselves under normal circumstances, let alone in the event of emergencies. This will invariably translates into loss of lives owing to inability of patients to be moved to healthcare provision facilities and centres in good time. With this, government will be failing in it’s responsibility to protect the lives of the governed that elected them into power.

Another, implications of this continuously skyrocketing increase in the prices of this product is that, Health workers may not be able to go work as expected and cannot possibly respond to calls that might be out forth to them to attend to patients in the event of emergencies. This will invariably affect the quality of care and treatment given to patients relying on government-owned healthcare provision facilities for treatments.

It will equally affect Farmers as they might not be able to produce at lower cost, owing to increase in the amount of wages to be paid to farm workers and amount to be spent on operating/fuelling certain machineries used in the course of planting and harvesting during farming activities. Some peasant farmers might not be able to get or reach their farm lands with ease. This will in turn have a potential to affect the quality and quantity of yield to be made and subsequently availability of farm produce and food security across the country. The resultant effect will be shortage and astronomical increase in the price of small quantities of farm produce that will be available for sale across the country. Also, transporting the farm produce produced to towns and city markets as the farmers might not be able to afford the cost of transportation required to be able to do so or will add the same cost to the farm produce already produced at a very high cost. This will mean, food items consumed by ordinary Nigerians/salary earners and raw materials used in producing other essential products and services will be expensive, naira not having high value and purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians severally affected as a result of sharp increase as more/higher amount of Naira will be required to be able purchase small quantity of food items or farm produce.

Additionally, citizens at the low class in the societies, that often earn a living by travelling to nearby towns and cities to perform menial jobs can longer be able to do so, as the amount to be spent on transportation to the cities and back at home, might be higher than the daily or monthly wages they are being paid, and considering the fact that, they are not in the formal sectors and their employers don’t often pay them based on approved minimum wage structure. of people cannot afford transportation. It is also, important that, population of Nigerians earning a living from these kind of jobs is huge and the effect of suddenly making them unable to earn will definitely have a severe impact in the peace, unity, law and order currently being enjoyed in our societies, just as the insecurity in some parts of the country has made impossible for the citizens that fall under such category of people to resort to embracing farming activities in the event they cannot continue travelling to neighboring towns and cities to earn through performing various forms of jobs or rendition of services required at cities.

In the end, if such category of people cannot earn, and coupled with the high cost of food items and farm produce, there will be hunger in the land, some might resort to self-help, some might embrace partaking in criminal activities as their new means of earning a living, which could result into social disorder, as the relative peace currently being enjoyed in some parts of the country will be affected severely, just as poorly funded, equipped and welfarized law enforcement agencies might be overwhelmed and anarchy might set in, owing to spat of criminal activities, as hungry, poor, pauperized and angry poor that are in the majority in number might descend to the rich and well to do in the societies to forcefully take away their valuables. When people are hungry, anything can happen.

Those in power should know that, experiences have shown that, unimaginable often happens when the poor and less privileged who are in most cases higher in number are pushed to the extreme. Therefore, the earlier, the better, desperate situations like this, deserve to be addressed by swiftly adopting desperate solution and no amount to be spent will be too much when it comes to addressing these kind of problems.

Finally, it is important to remember that, the primary essence of any government is to protect the lives and properties of the citizens and no responsible Government will not allow problems capable of breeding social disorder, increase in criminal activities and other social vices to thrive under it’s watch.

A stitch in time, saves nine.

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By Abia ThinkTank

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