Former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar has predicted that rising fuel prices will plunge millions of Nigerians into poverty.
General Abdulsalami, speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, said the country is facing various issues, and that an increase in fuel prices will only exacerbate the situation.
“On top of that, as the NNPC announced last November, fuel prices are projected to climb dramatically in the coming months,” General Abdulsalami remarked.
“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”
According to him, the country’s rising unemployment or underemployment level is impacting the security of the nation.
“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels. And over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.
“All of these tend to have negative effects on security. “In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria,” he added.
“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process, and distribute food.”
The former Nigerian leader spoke against the backdrop of plans by the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy which will see fuel go for over N300 per litre.
In place of the subsidy, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the government will give a stipend of N5,000 to 40 million poor Nigerians to cushion the impact of the move.
But the organised labour and the National Association of Nigerians Students (NANS), among others, have rejected the government’s plan.
The latter had threatened that the country will shut down if the Federal Government goes ahead to remove the subsidy later in the ye