Hardship: Senator Ajagunla Olubiyi Fadeyi urges Tinubu to Convene National Stakeholders Forum

Hardship: Senator Ajagunla Olubiyi Fadeyi urges Tinubu to Convene National Stakeholders Forum

By Tope Omogbolagun

As the cost of living crisis worsens amid rising insecurity, the lawmaker representing Osun Central, Senator Ajagunnla Olubiyi Fadeyi, has advised President Bola Tinubu to urgently convene a national stakeholders engagement forum that will proffer lasting solutions to the biting challenges facing the country.

Fadeyi, who commended the President for providing palliatives to Nigerians however, wondered why the reliefs were not getting to the targeted beneficiaries.
Speaking in a chat with The PUNCH, the Peoples Democratic Party Senator noted that as a lawmaker who is close to the people, the situation in the country has reached a level where leaders must come together and fix the problem.

Responding to questions on his assessment of the state of the nation since the inception of the new administration, Fadeyi said, “I would say, it is dire and I can confirm that with all sense of responsibility. As representatives of our people, we are closer to the masses at every level, so we feel the peoples plight much more easily than any other politician. Is it the escalating cost of living or growing insecurity or weakening local currency, which invariably worsens inflation or even the biting impact of removal of fuel subsidy?

He added, “I think, the president needs to call for a stakeholders engagement as a matter of urgency, a no-holds-barred, non- political but frank conversation. A national stakeholder’s engagement of this nature needs to be led by the president himself. Actionable points must be agreed at such a forum to address the most urgent predicaments that face the country at this time.”

According to the Senator, there is a need to review the way the drivers and managers of the palliatives have been implementing the projects, decrying why they are not achieving the intended results. Tinubu had last June announced the removal of petrol subsidy during his inaugural address.  The administration also implemented an exchange rate unification policy. The two policies seems not working. The administration has promised the hardships will soon be over. However, the situation continues to appear unbearable to  Nigerians.

However, Fadeyi believes tough decisions must be taken to save Nigerians from the worsening economic situation. He said, “To be honest, very courageous decisions may need to be reached, if we must save our men and women from starvation, businesses from shutting down and unemployment from worsening. “For example, if it requires reversing the subsidy removal policy, so be it! Why not reverse it and fix the corruption along the supply chain instead? If this happens, this will stem inflation.

“We all know that energy cost is the most significant cost incurred by any business, regardless of size. Food costs will be reduced, so at least people can eat. The labour unrest will also reduce as the conversation around salary increment would be unnecessary.” While admitting there were no quick fixes to the problems, the Harvard Senior Executive  Fellow emphasised the need to take decisive actions to address the challenges.

“There are no quick fixes, no doubt. Some of the inconveniences we are going through did not start overnight, it has been building up, so you can’t expect any quick results, the present leadership is not going to turn to magicians, but we can keep things from escalating at least  and then walk backward from there,”  Fadeyi said.

Fadeyi commended Tinubu for saving about N200bn monthly from the federal allocation. He however advocates for establishment of National Subsidy Fund. This will help government to introduce subsidy for Food, Agriculture, Transportation, Education  and other meaningful infrastructural projects that will be impactful on Nigerians especially income support scheme for the youths that re out of jobs.

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