The Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) has condemned the recent Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) hike, describing it as a pain too much to bear by the Nigerian masses, urging the Federal Government to involve the Organised Private Sector in taking decisions on palliative measures.
This fact is contained in media statement issued by the body and signed by the CICAN National Chairman, Mr. Charles Okonji and the Secretary, Mrs. Lucy Ekpeyong and made available to the media on Wednesday evening.
According to the statement, the fuel price hike has made it practically impossible for most Nigerians to transport to their place of work or their place were they eke out their daily livelihood.
The statement noted that the cost of transportation has gone up to the roof top, adding that most of the people were unable to move freely again.
The statement added that the high cost of PMS has further jerked up the prices of goods and services, making it very difficult for our people to even feed twice a day.
“The recent PMS hikes as a result of subsidy removal has pushed up the prices of goods and services beyond the reach of ordinary people. Most of our people are unable to get to their places of work to carryout their daily business. This will further drive majority of people into deeper poverty.
“We hereby, on behalf of the Nigerian masses, plead with the Federal Government to quickly rollout the palliative it has in the pipeline to ameliorate the serious pains and hardship our people have been subjected to since May 30th, 2023,” the CICAN statement postulated.
The CICAN statement also noted that while the association is delighted about the promise by the federal government to increase salaries of workers, adding that the government should realised that more than 70 percent of our youths are unemployed or do not work for the federal, state government or the local government.
“CICAN is aware of the promise of the federal government that it would soon announce salary increase to ameliorate the hardship caused by the PMS subsidy removal. We want to remind the government that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports have stated that over 50 percent of our youths are unemployed. We also want to inform the government that most of the private companies in particular and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in general will not be able to increase their workers salaries.
“We therefore make bold to say that most of our people who work in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and many private establishments including many media houses that have not been able to pay the peanuts for months will not consider the idea of salaries increase for their workers”, the statement noted.
CICAN postulated that once the government announced of the impending salary increase, landlords, transporters and traders will also further increase the prices of their products or services, thereby making the impending salary increment useless.
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