When the Federal Government decided to de-regulate the importation and supply of the premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol last week, little did the concerned officials imagine the ripple effect this announcement would have on the wider economy; aside the millions of naira in profit made by those marketers who already had the product in stock and only simply adjusted their pump meters to N145 and continued selling to flabbergasted consumers.
The ripple and whiplash effects have spread to such an extent that even mango and carrot sellers instantly jacked up the prices of their products and blamed the hike on the increase in pump price of petrol. A basket of tomatoes, which a few weeks ago sold for less than ten thousand naira in major markets is now said to be going for as much as N50,000 for the same quantity, with no added value. No wonder inflation has climbed to a depressing 13.7 per cent, despite government efforts to manage a sudden but seemingly overdue move.
Although everyone agrees that change for a positive outcome is welcome, at the same time the benefits of that change should be visibly felt to calm the frayed nerves of the citizenry. With the ever-spreading de-regulation of the economy, the survival of the average citizen like this reporter is becoming harder by the day and the anger level is rising by the hour. The hope is that the planned social safety nets would be implemented quickly enough to ameliorate the pain in the land. Pray, where are the safety nets?
• Abimbola Akosile