FG orders reduction in price of fertilizer but there’s still much to be desired

President Buhari Tuesday, through the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council and the Governor of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, ordered the reduction of the cost of fertilizer from ₦5,500 to ₦5,000 per bag.

The initiative which was originally launched in Abuja in April is part of the Federal Government’s effort to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable farmers in Nigeria and to ensure food security in the country.

The States that were earmarked to benefit from FG’s intervention include Kebbi, Jigawa, Abia, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto, Bauchi and Kwara.

The reduction in the price of fertilizer is a welcome development in the agricultural sector as this will improve farmers’ access to fertilizers and increase the nation’s agricultural output.

However, there is still much to be desired on the issue of subsidy especially as it relates to fuel pump price and electricity tariff.

In August 2020, there was nationwide outrage as FG increased the pump price of fuel and electricity tariff. Up until now, several calls on the government to reverse the price hike has yielded no result.

It is rather sad that the government will put such heavy yokes on the people at a time like this when many people are still struggling to cope with the effect the pandemic has had on their finances. Rather than empathise with the people, the government has chosen to turn a deaf ear to their plight.

Consequently, there has been a call by labour unions including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on a mass protest and a nationwide strike on Sept 28 to reverse the increase in fuel price and electricity tariff.

State councils have been directed to intensify mobilization of workers and other affected Nigerians in preparation for the strike.

As the struggle for a reverse in the price hike of these basic commodities continues, it is hoped that the government will be considerate enough to extend the same gesture to Nigerians as a whole and not just farmers alone, to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

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