COVID-19: Human rights group condemns high charges on transportation, others

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THE Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED) has condemned the high charges in the transportation sector and move to increase electricity tariff in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, the Executive Director of the organization made this known at a news conference on the State of the Nation in Abuja on Monday.

Zikirullahi noted that the step would only compound the hardship on the citizens while calling for reversal of the increment in translation fare.

“With the understanding of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, Nigerians expected their government at the national and sub-national levels to come to their rescue, the way many governments in other parts of the world are doing.

“Unfortunately, the expectations of the people have been dashed again, even as the pandemic continues to rage.

“At the last count, there have been unjust, and unpopular moves to hike electricity tariffs, raise the fares for train services, and impose a six-percent stamp duty for transactions relating to rent payment.

“These charges and fees are being imposed in the face of multiple taxes and informal levies, which have become a basis for Nigerians, including market women and artisans struggling to make ends, to be swindled on a regular basis.”

Zikirullahi called on the government to give stimulus packages to help citizens cope with the harsh economic environment rather than increasing charges at the detriment of the people.

On corruption allegations in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), he called for a more robust political will to fight corruption in the commission.

He said that the loss of political will and the serious collapse of the moral ground had been seen with the government’s act of condoning corrupt characters.

“There is no mistaking the fact that corruption is winning because the same government has failed to investigate weighty allegations against some of its very senior officials.’’

On the issue of security, the executive director called for the sack of Service Chiefs in line with public demands, considering their failure to secure the country.

He noted that the factors driving insecurity were beyond removing and appointing a new set of Service Chiefs but that the role of political actors was key in ensuring the security of the country.

He, therefore, called on civil society, professional groups, artisans, market women, employed and unemployed youths and citizens with disability to form credible alliance that would lead to creation of a viable political alternative.

NAN

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– July 27, 2020 16:10 GMT |

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