Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, is currently facing significant economic challenges that have caused severe hardship and unrest among the population. Lagosians are experiencing fuel and naira scarcity, leading to a scarcity of cash and fuel, and long lines at petrol stations.
To address the current situation, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to residents to remain calm and avoid violence, arson, and rioting. He acknowledged the difficulties and frustrations that people are experiencing, but emphasized that violence is never the answer.
The governor also expressed concern about the rampant extortion by some point-of-sale agents and petrol station attendants, who are taking advantage of the current crisis to overcharge customers. He urged Lagosians to resist opportunists seeking to exploit their frustration and anger, warning that law enforcement agents would take action against anyone engaging in violent or destructive behavior.
Sanwo-Olu assured the people of Lagos that his administration understands the challenges they are facing, especially with regard to access to cash, and is working hard to provide palliative measures to lessen the burdens. He also revealed that talks were ongoing with private transport operators to prevent any arbitrary hike in fares at this point in time.
The governor further disclosed plans to distribute palliatives to vulnerable Lagosians who are most impacted by the disruption of cash.
The fuel scarcity crisis in Lagos is attributed to the ongoing conflict between the government and the oil workers’ unions. The unions have called for a nationwide strike over the government’s failure to address their demands, leading to the disruption of fuel supply in many parts of the country, including Lagos.
The naira scarcity, on the other hand, is due to the federal government’s recent policy to replace the old banknotes with new ones. This move has caused confusion and hardship among the population, especially those who do not have bank accounts or have limited access to banking services.
The situation in Lagos has resulted in sporadic violent protests in some areas, causing disruption to traffic and normal activities. However, the governor’s appeal for calm has been well-received by the people, who have been urged to exercise restraint in expressing their grievances.
The federal government has also assured the public that the current challenges are temporary, and measures are being put in place to resolve them. President Muhammadu Buhari recently stated that the government was working to resolve the ongoing crisis with the oil workers’ unions and promised that the naira scarcity would soon come to an end.
The economic challenges facing Lagos are significant and require urgent attention from the government. The people of Lagos must remain calm and work with the government to find solutions to the current crisis. The government, on its part, must prioritize the welfare of its citizens and take necessary measures to alleviate their suffering. Read the full statement below: