Minna residents bemoan increase price of foodstuff

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
A broad spectrum of citizens in Minna, the Niger State capital have refuted claims by the ruling APC government of economic recovery saying assertions by the government and it’s apologists do not reflect true realities on the ground.
 
Those spoken to said claims by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) led government that there have been tremendous progress made in Nigeria’s agricultural sector with great prospects for food security were mere falacies propelled by “government’s stooges, bootlickers and apologists.”
 
Respondents to a Vox Pop said it is erroneous for anybody to say the country’s agricultural sector have started yielding the desired results when in the contrary, hunger, starvation and malnutrition now omneously stare on the vast majority of the population across the country.
 
Reacting to the Monday’s outcome of the Progressives Governors’ Forum meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, some angry and hungry Nigerians said such indices of growth and economic recovery were only on paper but without trickle down effects seen or felt by citizens.
 
At the popular newsstands along Bosso road, Minna, (the Minna variant of London’s Fleet Street), some members of Newspaper Free Readers Club lashed out at the ruling party for playing politics with life threatening issues of stomach infrastructures.
 
A cross section of them said prices of most food items have gone up beyond the reach of the ordinary man, while essential basic needs of every home have become hard to be sourced even by well placed individuals.
 
While rejecting the position of the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, (PGF), Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, some of our respondents argued that the position of the ruling party on many topical issues of grave concern to citizens were at variance with reality.
 
A Human Development Expert, Mr. Abdullahi Bello said any claim of economic growth must be felt and seen on the standard of living of citizens. “But where there is no trickle down effects from the bottom to top approach, such claims are bogus” he said.
He said the present administration must walk itself out of the shadows of the previous regimes and stop further buck passing or the blame game that have since gone out vogue.
 
“What Nigerians want is true progress. We voted for change. Anything short of what is better than where we are coming from is not acceptable” he said in summary.
 
He accused the APC led administration for lacking direction and ability to manage the country’s fragile our economy which has now plumated to its all time low. He wandered what had happened to all campaign promises and niceties of the pre 2015 APC.
 
“Are these the same people who claimed they know what Nigeria’s problems are and promised to fix them in matter of months?” he asked.
 
Abdullahi Bello and others of like minds who reacted to the statement by the PGF, cautioned the ruling party against popular revolts by citizens over the ruling party’s inability to fetch the country out of its present woods.
Another respondent, Felix Peters bemourned the situation Nigeria has been thrown into. He said “today, locally produced paddy rice sells at N700 per measure in Minna, Niger State which is the largest rice producer in Nigeria while three, smaller tubers of yams now sell between N750 and N1,000. A measure of Garri, the commonest amongst staple foods now sells at N240. What hope do we have as a people”? He asked.
 
Another respondent, Agwu Anuche, adviced the Buhari administration to use the recovered billions of dollars and naira from treasury looters to inject life back into the morribound economy to avert what he feared could be catastrophic to the country.
 
Anuche cautioned the government against any further increase in pump prices of petroleum products as is being rumoured.

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