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Hunger riots imminent in Nigeria – Agbakoba warns Tinubu

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Hunger riots imminent in Nigeria - Agbakoba warns Tinubu
Hunger riots imminent in Nigeria - Agbakoba warns Tinubu

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, has warned that a “hunger riot” may soon erupt in Nigeria if the Federal Government does not take swift action. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday at his office in Ikoyi, Lagos, Agbakoba highlighted the extreme poverty that has left many Nigerians unable to afford basic food.

Despite Nigeria’s vast oil and gas resources, Agbakoba noted that these have been largely controlled by foreign interests, leaving the local population in dire straits. He cautioned that if the government fails to address this issue, widespread protests could ensue, with people potentially resorting to theft in broad daylight to feed themselves.

“Hunger riots can occur anytime in Nigeria,” Agbakoba stated, urging President Tinubu to restructure his cabinet and reduce the cost of governance. He argued that the current size of the cabinet, with over 40 ministers, is excessive and should be trimmed to no more than 20 ministries.

Agbakoba also recommended scrapping some government agencies and expanding the tax net, particularly targeting multinational oil companies accused of tax evasion. “Don’t increase taxes, just expand the tax net and go after defaulting IOCs,” he advised.

The legal practitioner’s warning comes amid rising food inflation in Nigeria, which hit 40.66 percent in May 2024. This marks a significant increase from 25.25 percent in June 2023, according to the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The report also noted that headline inflation climbed to 33.95 percent in May, up from 33.69 percent in April, reaching a 28-year high since March 1996 due to soaring food and transport prices.

Agbakoba emphasized the urgency of taking decisive actions to prevent the looming hunger riot and alleviate the economic hardship faced by many Nigerians.

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