Economic Challenge: AWLA Asks FG To Review Subsidy Removal, Tackle Insecurity

The African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) has urged the federal government to reassess the removal of fuel subsidies and declare a state of emergency on insecurity as essential steps to address the severe economic challenges in the country.

During a press conference held at the AWLA Secretariat in Lagos, the newly elected executive members, led by President Caroline Ibharuneafe, emphasized the urgency of these measures in alleviating the crippling economic hardship faced by Nigerians, particularly women.

Mrs. Ibharuneafe highlighted the daily struggles of Nigerians, especially women, in coping with the skyrocketing cost of living. She stressed the need for the government to undertake a comprehensive review of its economic policies and confront insecurity head-on to prevent the country from sliding into recession.

Pointing to the alarming increase in kidnappings and incidents of rape against women and children, Mrs. Ibharuneafe underscored how the pervasive insecurity has further exacerbated the already dire cost-of-living challenges across the nation.

Ibharuneafe reiterated AWLA’s full support for the establishment of state police as a crucial step in addressing the nation’s security challenges. However, she emphasized the importance of women’s inclusion in government committees tasked with finding lasting solutions to the country’s problems.

She stressed that any effective measure aimed at enhancing safety and food security should be embraced. Ibharuneafe also expressed AWLA’s willingness to collaborate with both government and non-governmental organizations in addressing the nation’s challenges, particularly by providing pro-bono legal services to disadvantaged women and girls.

Mrs. Ibharuneafe acknowledged internal leadership issues within AWLA that have hindered its effectiveness but assured the public that these issues are being addressed. Under her leadership, she affirmed that the new AWLA executive will refocus the association and ensure it fulfills its mandate effectively.

She said: “We are seriously concerned about the state of the nation, especially the high cost of living and insecurity in the land which is currently having a terrible effect on our women. Farmers in the rural areas can no longer go to farm for fear of killer herdsmen thus leading to high shortage of food items and other essential products in the market.”

“The removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the Naira has further compounded the situation and thrown a lot of people hungry. As an association that represents the interest of indigent women in the country, we cannot watch as our women face severe hunger and hardship and do nothing.”

“We therefore call on the federal government to rise up to its responsibility by urgently taking the issue of insecurity seriously. If a policy is not working, it should be reviewed. The federal government should urgently reconsider the removal of fuel subsidy. We also call on the government to do something urgent about the incessant electricity increases by the power holding companies in the country.”

“Nigerians are dying in their hundreds and if nothing is done on all these issues enumerated, AWLA will have no choice but to take legal means to fight for our rights as enunciated in the Nigerians Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Child Rights.”