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The Senatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Imo East Senatorial district, Mr Chyna Anthony, has blasted the federal government in their lackadaisical response over the loss of lives in the recent explosion at the site of an illegal refinery in Abaezi community, Ohaji Egbema, Imo State.
The party chieftain while speaking to journalists in Imo on Saturday blamed the federal government for the trend of poor Nigerians going into illegality to survive, including engaging in the business of illegal refineries across the Niger Delta and other oil-producing states.
Anthony asserted that the act of spending 4 trillion Naira on fuel subsidy every year by the federal government is fraudulent and ignition for mass poverty.
He expressed displeasure at the incident that left scores dead, lamenting the poor handling of the economy in the last seven years, alleging it made Nigeria heavily burdened by poverty, hunger and criminality.
“I have to call on the federal government to establish a real system, a system that will take care of the people economically and otherwise.
“If our refineries are not working, it can be resuscitated or sold out for it to be managed. In a situation where we have the National Assembly approving 4trillion naira for fuel subsidy, which is disheartening and is the worst economic crime ever in life.
“If you spend 4 trillion Naira for a one-year fuel subsidy when Dangote refinery is 4.1 trillion Naira; who is deceiving who, why should that be in Nigeria? That is a lack of accountability.
“The federal government has failed to protect the masses both economic and security-wise,” he said.
”The government should completely remove subsidies, it is the same thing we have been hearing every day and nobody has been able to completely tell us how this thing works. Imagine what 4 trillion Naira will do to this country in terms of building modular refineries and industries”.
He added that, if the Nigerian government provides jobs for the people, there won’t have been any need to engage in illegal refinery and that the security operatives such as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) should have detected such illegal activities first beforehand.
Anthony advised the Federal Government to be intentional rather than reactionary and to build modular refineries so that the people of Imo State can be employed.
“We cannot have a system where poverty is killing people, we have bandits, people are hungry, look at the streets, people are begging for money including 3, 9 year olds but if we take care of them we have solved most of the problem,” he said.