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Subsidy Removal: Tinubu’s Procrastination on CNG Buses Fueling Labor Unrest, Tensions

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President Bola Tinubu’s delay in introducing CNG buses as an alternative to petroleum-fueled vehicles has triggered the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) decision to organise a nationwide strike. The economic problems that result from the loss of fuel subsidies have been endured with far too much patience by the people of Nigeria. It is past time for the government to take prompt action to resolve this problem.

 

The decision to eliminate fuel subsidies was definitely difficult, motivated by the necessity to transfer funding to important sectors of the economy. However, it came with the promise of switching to CNG buses to reduce the impact on the public. Unfortunately, this transformation has been painfully slow.

 

Rightfully, labour unions have been outspoken in their opposition to the elimination of fuel subsidies. The working class has borne the brunt of rising transit expenses, which have a direct impact on the cost of living. It was hoped that the promise of CNG buses would help to lessen this strain. It is still unfulfilled, though.

 

The delay in implementing CNG buses has not only strained the relationship between the government and labor unions but has also eroded the trust of the Nigerian people. It raises questions about the government’s commitment to its promises and its ability to deliver on critical infrastructure projects.

 

CNG buses are not just an economic necessity; they are also environmentally friendly. Their adoption would help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, a pressing global issue. Nigeria, as a signatory to international climate agreements, has a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint.

 

Furthermore, the economic benefits of transitioning to CNG are substantial. It would create jobs, stimulate local industries, and reduce the country’s dependency on imported petroleum products. This would strengthen Nigeria’s economic resilience and reduce its vulnerability to global oil price fluctuations.

 

President Tinubu must recognize the urgency of the situation and expedite the deployment of CNG buses. The longer the delay, the greater the risk of escalating labor unrest and social tensions. Additionally, the economic and environmental advantages of CNG cannot be ignored any longer.

 

To make this transition a reality, it is imperative for the government to collaborate with stakeholders, including the private sector and international partners, to fast-track the procurement and deployment of CNG buses. Adequate infrastructure, such as CNG refueling stations, must also be developed to support this transition.

 

Therefore, the procrastination on CNG buses by President Tinubu’s administration is fueling labor unrest and tensions within the country. It’s time for decisive action to fulfill the promise of CNG buses, not only to ease the economic burden on the Nigerian people but also to contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. The government’s credibility is on the line, and the time for action is now.

Business

IMF Predicts 26.3% Drop in Nigeria’s Inflation by 2024

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted a significant drop in Nigeria’s inflation rate to 26.3% by 2024. This projection was part of the IMF’s revised Global Economic Outlook released earlier this week, which also predicted a 3.3% growth for Nigeria’s economy this year.

In its report, the IMF maintained the growth prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2024, with a slight upgrade attributed to Nigeria’s improved growth outlook, offsetting downward forecasts for other countries like Angola.

According to the IMF, Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 3.0% in 2025, a slight decline from its previous projection. The SSA region as a whole is forecasted to experience growth of 3.8% in 2024 and 4.0% in 2025, driven by the gradual improvement in supply issues and the easing of earlier weather shocks.

Additionally, the IMF noted a slight uptick in growth for advanced economies, with projections increasing from 1.6% in 2023 to 1.7% in 2024, and further to 1.8% in 2025.

However, Nigeria has been grappling with persistent inflationary pressures throughout the year. The country’s inflation rate rose from 29.90% in January to 33.2% in March, posing challenges to its economic stability despite the IMF’s optimistic long-term forecast.

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Opinion

Oshiomhole Expresses Confidence in APC’s Victory in Edo Governorship Election

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Former Edo State Governor and current Senator representing Edo North, Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed confidence in the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s chances of victory in the upcoming September 21 governorship election. Oshiomhole highlighted the unity within the APC in the state and the challenges facing opposition parties as indicators of the party’s strong prospects.

After briefing President Bola Tinubu on the party’s preparations for the election, Oshiomhole emphasized the successful resolution of issues arising from the primaries and the establishment of a campaign council, signaling the readiness of the APC to proceed with its campaign.

Oshiomhole acknowledged the various crises facing opposition parties, including the Labour Party (LP), contrasting it with the stability of the APC. He also mentioned that the party eagerly awaits INEC’s announcement on April 24 to commence its campaign.

While President Buhari assured them of his support, Oshiomhole emphasized the importance of the party mobilizing and securing victory. He stated the determination of the APC to craft a campaign message that resonates with the people of Edo and captures their imagination.

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News

AFTER FASTING: WHAT COMES NEXT?

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The blessed month of Ramadan has passed, leaving many feeling like it was just a fleeting moment. In the twinkle of an eye, the fasting, prayers, and spiritual reflections have come to an end. But what comes next after this period of heightened devotion? How do we maintain the momentum of Ramadan throughout the rest of the year?

The key lies in consistency and steadfastness. It’s natural to feel a sense of loss as Ramadan fades away, but dwelling on this sadness can hinder our progress. Instead, it’s important to strike a balance, ensuring that we continue to engage in good deeds, albeit at a sustainable pace. As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Do such deeds as you can do easily, as Allah will not get tired (of giving rewards) until you get bored and tired (of performing religious deeds).”

So, what are some practical steps we can take to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive throughout the year?

Make up missed fasts from Ramadan, if any. This ensures that we fulfill our obligations and maintain the spiritual purity gained during the month of fasting.

Follow up Ramadan with six additional fasts in the month of Shawwal. This tradition not only earns us extra rewards but also reinforces the discipline of fasting.

Revive the spirit of Tarawih prayers by engaging in Qiyam al-Layl (night prayers). While it may be challenging to match the Prophet’s practice of eleven units of prayer, starting with a few units followed by Witr is commendable.

Dedicate time daily to recite or listen to the Quran, reflecting on its meaning and implementing its teachings in our lives.

Continue the spirit of charity beyond Ramadan by supporting the less fortunate in our communities. Whether it’s feeding the hungry, helping the needy, or supporting orphaned children, acts of kindness should be an ongoing commitment.

Engage in frequent remembrance of Allah (dhikr) through morning and evening supplications, as well as other invocations related to daily activities.

Uphold the Sunnah fasting of Mondays and Thursdays or fast at least three days in the lunar month (13th, 14th, and 15th).

Structure our daily routines around the five daily prayers, ensuring that they remain the cornerstone of our spiritual lives. Engage fervently in dua (supplication) and trust in Allah’s mercy and ability to fulfill our needs.

Seek forgiveness from Allah through repentance, recognizing our shortcomings and striving for self-improvement.

Surround ourselves with righteous company, as the companionship of those who remind us of Allah and His commands is invaluable in maintaining our faith.

In conclusion, the end of Ramadan marks not the end of our spiritual journey but rather a continuation of it. By maintaining consistency in our good deeds, seeking forgiveness, and keeping our hearts connected to Allah, we can ensure that the spirit of Ramadan remains alive in our lives throughout the year. As we embark on this journey, may Allah grant us strength, guidance, and ultimate success in both this life and the Hereafter. Ameen!

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