Don To FG: Revise Harsh Policies To Reduce Corruption, Criminality

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A criminologist at the University of Ibadan, Dr Oludayo Tade has advised the federal government to revise what he described as ‘harsh policies’ to reduce its negative impacts on the livelihoods of Nigerians, warning that consistent harsh policies may trigger increased corruption and crime.

The Don noted that Nigeria has all the trappings of facing increasing crime and corruption as a result of the strains which many Nigerians are facing due to harsh policies of government and the backlashes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, any society experiencing poverty and unemployment, and stifling economic reality is likely to have citizens who are pushed to the fringe to innovate survivalist strategies which may be a crime and corrupt behaviours.

Speaking against the backdrop of an increase in fuel price and electricity tariffs, Dr Tade noted that statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics already showed that Nigerians are living in precarious conditions with lower standards of living.

He added that the spiral effects of the hike in electricity and fuel on the majority of Nigerians may force many to adopt alternative routes to actualise their unmet needs.

The criminologist, however, advised the government to revise its harsh policies which may be counterproductive as it may contribute to insecurity in the land, adding that the government must make Nigerians believe in the Nigerian project by making life worth living for the people in order not to force many to resort to self-help.

Dr Tade said “Already, the unemployment rate is about 27.1 per cent. Millions of people lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are yet to recover. Many of those just returning to work can barely survive as dependants have increased on their meagre earnings.

“Poverty is increasing in the land and policy is not mitigating this growing population of people who lack and have unmet needs. Nigerians are subsidising electricity by paying for Meter, electricity poles, cables and transformer and will be corruptly charged before they are connected.

“Fuel hike will affect transportation, cost of food and cost of production. It will not only make life more difficult for the common man but will increase crime and criminality. Thirty thousand minimum wage is less than eighty dollars ($80) in a month in a country where local rice sells around N24, 000 and imported sells around N26, 000.

“It is becoming difficult to live in Nigeria and the consequences of bad policies are reflecting on the growth of disenchanted populace. Basic necessities of life barely exist in Nigeria. The 2019/2020 Nigerian living Standards survey released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that 82.9million (40.1%) Nigerians are poor.

“Disaggregating this data further unveils how poverty has burrowed into the space where most Nigerians domicile, the rural area. A larger proportion of Nigerians live in a rural area while slightly above 40 per cent live in urban centres. While the national poverty headcount rate is 40.1 per cent, the rural has 52.1 per cent as against urban’s 18.04 per cent headcount rate.

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