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Cost of living: Nigerians groan, set agenda for Tinubu

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Six months into the administration of President Bola Tinubu, the cost of living in Nigeria has experienced a significant and alarming rise. President Tinubu’s removal of the subsidy has exacerbated the existing hardship for many Nigerians, leading to increased challenges in their daily lives. According to the World Bank, the poverty rate in Nigeria surged to 46 percent in 2023, affecting 104 million individuals.

Inflation rates also witnessed a sharp increase, reaching 27.33% in October 2023 and 28.20% in November, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This inflation had a substantial impact on household spending. The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was attributed to increases in the prices of various food items, including oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, yam, fruits, meat, vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.

A review of foodstuff prices in Nigeria by DAILY POST in January revealed soaring costs. For instance, a 50kg bag of rice ranged from N45,000 to N60,000, while beans cost between N60,000 and N70,000 for a similar quantity. Yam prices varied from N800 to N3000 per tuber. Noodle prices, depending on the brand and size, ranged from N7000 to N9000. Garri, a staple made from cassava, was sold between N30,000 and N40,000 per 50kg bag. Potatoes in a 25kg bag cost between N6,000 and N9,000, and a 12-pack of spaghetti was priced at N13,000.

These surges in food commodity prices have raised serious concerns among Nigerians. Despite assurances from President Tinubu and his team regarding their capability to address the situation, many citizens feel that the expected improvements are taking longer than anticipated.

Residents expressed their concerns, linking the rising cost of petrol to the challenges faced by the masses. Some suggested that a review of the minimum wage for civil servants should be considered. Others emphasized that addressing insecurity is crucial, especially ensuring farmers can work without fear, facilitating the transportation of produce from farms to markets.

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Mr. Abdul Sani expressed frustration, stating that he doesn’t see any hope, and the continuous rise of the dollar is contributing to escalating prices of essential goods. Some voiced skepticism about the effectiveness of government interventions, citing corruption as a hindrance.

Economic expert Dr. Ayo Teriba emphasized the need to stabilize the foreign exchange market to promote economic growth and competitiveness. He highlighted the negative impact of exchange rate volatility on business decisions, inflation, and living standards. Teriba suggested that addressing the exchange rate volatility is crucial for achieving sustainable growth and mitigating the adverse effects of reforms on living costs.

While acknowledging the challenges, he noted that the direction of the 2024 budget indicates that the government is making adequate provisions to address the impact of its reforms on living costs.

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‘Some people have turned into monitoring spirits because of Tinubu’ – Joe Igbokwe

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Joe Igbokwe, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, raised concerns on Saturday about the constant monitoring of President Bola Tinubu. Igbokwe claimed that some individuals have resorted to witchcraft and “monitoring spirits” to keep an eye on Tinubu.

He explained that these individuals are observing Tinubu closely to catch any mistakes or mishaps, wherever he goes. Posting on his Facebook page, Igbokwe predicted that this scrutiny will persist for the next eight years.

He wrote: “Some people have turned to monitoring spirits. They follow PBAT anywhere he goes to see if he will make mistakes, if he will fall down, or if he will be received very well in any country he goes to. This is witchcraft and they will do this for 8 years. Mark this.”

Tinubu had a slip during the Democracy Day celebration at Eagles Square on June 12. Addressing the incident later at a Democracy Day dinner at the Presidential Villa, the President commented: “Early this morning, I had a swagger and it’s on social media. They’re confused about whether I was doing bugger or babariga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy. Why doing dobale on the day? I’m a traditional Yoruba boy. I did my dobale.”

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‘We’re still owed salaries in Abia State University’ – ASUU

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The Abia State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has claimed that many of its members did not receive their April and May salaries, and those who were paid had deductions from their salaries. ASUU Chairperson Chidi Mbah and Secretary Victor Obisike stated that despite announcements from the Abia government and social media reports indicating that salaries had been settled, only a few staff members with accounts at commercial banks received their April salaries, and even fewer received their May salaries.

The ASUU leaders highlighted that this inconsistency in salary payments and deductions has caused financial difficulties, anxiety, and uncertainty among the affected staff. They noted that staff members who did receive their April or May salaries experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000.

This irregular payment system has made it difficult for the unions within the university to determine the status of their check-off dues, which are usually deducted at the source. Additionally, ASUU emphasized that 11 months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid, despite repeated assurances from the government.

ASUU expressed its support for Governor Alex Otti’s efforts to improve Abia State University but urged government officials to avoid politicizing the salary payment issue. They appealed to the state government to promptly address the concerns raised and ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid in full to alleviate the financial hardships faced by the university staff.

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Sanusi: Ado Bayero was never Emir of Kano – Gov Yusuf’s spokesman

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Sanusi Bature, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, has asserted that Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. According to Bature, former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje appointed Bayero as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city.

During an appearance on Arise Television, Bature explained that Ganduje’s appointment of Bayero as emir was part of a political maneuver that compromised the integrity of the historic Kano Emirate, which predates Nigeria and its constitution by over a thousand years.

Bature stated: “The governor’s action was intended to protect the emirate’s integrity as an institution. The Emirate of Kano has a history that predates Nigeria, with people living under a single Emir for over a thousand years. Ganduje’s administration politicized this history, which Yusuf promised to rectify during his campaign to restore the emirate’s lost glory.”

He further remarked, “This is not the first time an Emir has been deposed; Ganduje did it, and Sanusi left Kano for peace to prevail. Now Sanusi has returned to Kano after the law was repealed.”

Clarifying Bayero’s status, Bature said, “Aminu Ado Bayero was never the Emir of Kano. He was appointed as the Emir of the eight metropolitan local governments of Kano city. With the revision of the law under a unified Kano, the emirate Bayero served no longer exists. He was the Emir of the Kano city emirate, not the entire 44 local governments of Kano, a status created by Ganduje’s 2019 Emirate law.”

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Governor Yusuf deposed Ado Bayero and reinstated Muhammed Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. Despite this, Ado Bayero has refused to leave his Nassarawa palace and has challenged the state government’s action in court.

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