WE have read the stories of people who have committed suicides due to their inability to provide for their families. In fact, an elderly man who was not paid for more than six months by his company committed suicide in Maryland area of Lagos last month.
Another young man had jumped from a high-rise building just because he could not make ends meet. Apart from the stories of suicides, we have also heard of families selling their children to survive. All these are not surprising when a country’s economy is in recession, but it is important for Nigerians who are feeling the pains of economic situation not to lose hope.
Resorting to suicide or selling one’s children will definitely not bring about the desired ‘happy ending’ to the challenges we are currently facing.
However, in order to reduce the pain of Nigerians, I think the government can allow for the importation of food for a period of time without collecting import duties. It can be for a period of six months. The essence of this is just to reduce the suffering of Nigerians, and I believe it won’t jeopardise the government’s policy on agriculture.
When foods are brought into the country enmasse without the government taking import duties, it will help reduce the cost in the market, thereby making more Nigerians to be able to afford it.
The prices of food, particularly rice, have gone above the roof in recent times, and this has affected the feeding lifestyle of Nigerians. Some families now just eat breakfast and dinner, while some eat just lunch and take snacks for dinner. Every now and then, those in positions of authority say they are aware of the suffering of Nigerians, but they are not going hungry themselves. Nigerians are hungry, and this is fuelling an increase in crime.
As a result, the Federal Government should quickly allow the importation of food without collecting import duties for a period of six months. When food is available, then the situation will be manageable, and the saying goes: ‘An hungry man is an angry man,’ aptly describes this situation.
- Memunat Kareem,