Halting forex issuance for food import will worsen scarcity, PDP tells Buhari

•Says policy anti-people, ill-timed

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned that President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the issuance of foreign exchange for food imports will worsen food scarcity, exacerbate the already harsh economic situation and the general depression, frustration, resentment and despair in the country.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, PDP said the directive will stifle food importation in the country as mean, describing it as ill-timed and completely against the wellbeing of Nigerians.

The PDP stated: “It is indeed appalling that instead of bringing solutions to the depreciating living conditions in our nation, President Buhari is rather imposing more suffering by ordering the removal of subsidy on food even when it is manifestly clear that he had failed on all fronts to achieve any level of food security despite the huge resources available to his administration.”

The party noted that by the directive, the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have again demonstrated their insensitivity towards millions of Nigerians who are already suffering acute hunger and starvation due to severe food shortage and high prices brought by President Buhari’s misrule.

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The PDP stated strongly that Nigerians do not, in any way, deserve such suffering being foisted on them by such directive on food.

The statement added: “Such situation will only breed further despondency among our citizens, heighten our security challenges and put more pressure on compatriots, many of who, in the face of suffering occasioned by APC misrule, are resorting to suicide and slavery mission as options.

“Instead of removing subsidy on food and putting more suffering on Nigerians, the PDP urges President Buhari to cut the billions of naira being wasted on luxuries in his Presidency and free the funds for the welfare of the masses.

“Furthermore, the PDP urges President Buhari to recover the over N14 trillion siphoned by APC interests under his administration including the stolen N9 trillion detailed in the leaked NNPC memo and channel the resources towards food security for Nigerians.”

The main opposition party further noted that “it is a complete disservice to Nigerians for the government to place restrictive directives on food for the masses, while interests condoned by the same administration are frittering our common patrimony.”

The party said it wants to believe that “while Mr President enjoys the comfort, luxury, sufficiency and safety of the government house, he is barely aware of the sufferings of Nigerians.”

It, therefore, charged President Buhari to immediately rescind his directive before it inflicts more damage on the polity.

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