The Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has blamed the poor electricity supply, hike in the prices of petroleum products and food inflation currently ravaging Nigeria on oil theft, vandalism and insecurity.
Bemoaning the situation in a series of tweets, Elumelu said the worsening situation was impacting negatively on the citizens and businesses, as many businesses are either running at a loss or closing up.
Elumelu noted that as an oil producing country, it was unfortunate that many Nigerians were living in hardship and poverty.
“This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face every day in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse – no electricity for five days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, etc.
“How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90 per cent of its citizens living in hardship and poverty? I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking of security, our people are afraid!” he said.
He noted that Nigeria’s inability to generate the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil production quota was costing the country more and depleting her foreign reserves.
“Businesses are suffering. How can we be losing over 95 per cent of oil production to thieves? Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200, 000 barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator @Shell, to declare force majeure.
“Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple!
“Meanwhile, oil producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rising. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable!”
Elumelu urged Nigerians to be more vocal and demand accountability from government as the 2023 general election draw closer. He added that only leaders who can deliver on their mandates can change Nigeria’s trajectory.
“Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority.