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Economic hardship affecting govt projects, says Diri

84533d5c gov douye diri

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Douye Diri, has bemoaned the current economic hardship facing the country resulting from inflation caused by the policies of the Federal Government.

The governor, while addressing members of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state at the Government House gate, Yenagoa, during the nationwide high cost of living protest on Tuesday, said he was not insulated from the economic crisis.

Explaining how the economic hardship was affecting him, Diri said ongoing development projects undertaken by his administration were attracting variation costs from contractors to reflect the current inflationary surge.

The governor said, “We are all aware, and we are all in this country. Whether you are rich or poor, whether you are a worker or you are not a worker, the current hardship has no boundaries. And it is only a fool that will say,I’m not affected’. Workers are affected; my dear countrymen, even me as governor, I’m affected.

“Do you know how I’m affected? Now, in all of our projects that we have done before, every body is putting in a paper for variation. Do you know how I’m affected? The food that I used to eat at one naira, they are now putting variation for N10.

“Do you know how I’m affected? Now, some of you who used to come and dine with me in the morning , I can no longer invite you to come and dine with me again. All of us are affected. We are all affected.”

Diri, however, told the protesting workers that he was convinced President Bola Tinubu did not deliberately inflict misery and poverty on the citizens as some tough decisions usually bring about good things.

In addition, he said the soaring prices of goods and services in the country were primarily caused by the floating naira policy of the Federal Government, noting that state governments had no hand in it.

Shedding light on the cause of inflation, Diri said, “For anything to be good, there are also some bad situations. I believe that the President of this country wouldn’t deliberately want to punish us as citizens of this country. I do believe so. Certain policies that have come out; I’m sure they (Federal Government) are also weighing the options.

“The issue about inflation mostly has to do with our currency, the policy of floating our currency. And I’m sure that as they weigh the options; because currency as you know is purely for the Federal Government; state governments cannot; we can only advise. And having received your protest letter, we can only continue to advise.

“But the decisions are taken by the Federal Government about currency. And as you all know, currency is on the Exclusive List (in the Constitution). The whole of this thing rallies around our currency. Our currency has been floated.

“I’m sure that, as I said, if it is affecting me then it certainly is affecting Mr President. And Mr President, who is the head and leader of this country, can no longer sleep. I’m sure he’s going to do something, seeing workers protesting across the country.”

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