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World Humanitarian Day: Removal of petrol subsidy has increased poverty, says NHRC

World Humanitarian Day: Removal of petrol subsidy has increased poverty, says NHRC
August 19
21:04 2023

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says the removal of the petrol subsidy by the federal government has further increased poverty in the country. 

In a statement on Saturday to mark the 2023 World Humanitarian Day (WHD) observed every August 19, Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of NHRC, said there is a need to provide humanitarian assistance for low-income earners.

“Reflecting on the global challenges that communities around the world face, it is imperative for us to unite in our efforts to address the critical humanitarian issues confronting us as a nation,” he said.

“The recent removal of fuel subsidy has created untold hardship to the majority of Nigerians, especially the low-income earners, making them deserving of humanitarian assistance as they are no longer able to provide for some basic needs of life.”


Ojukwu said there is an urgent need to address the adverse consequences of the subsidy removal on Nigerians, adding that it has resulted in job losses, depression, violent reactions and increased poverty.

He said the theme of this year’s WHD which is  “No matter what” serves as a reminder that compassion, solidarity and support transcend all obstacles in addressing humanitarian needs.

“The WHD provides an opportunity to recognise the tireless efforts of humanitarian workers who selflessly dedicate their lives to alleviating sufferings and providing assistance to vulnerable populations regardless of challenges they face,” he said.


“’No matter what, we can collectively pave the way for a brighter future for all.

“The well-being of every individual is intrinsically linked to the well-being of the entire human family. If you cannot feed one hundred people, then feed just one.”

He said the commission’s commitment to human rights demands that Nigerians stand in solidarity with those who are vulnerable, marginalised, and in need.

He added that providing humanitarian services helps to create a fair society as well as reduces conflicts.


“Together, we can build a stronger and more compassionate world, where every person’s rights are upheld, regardless of their background or circumstances,” Ojukwu said.

“The Commission is calling on governments, civil society organisations, and individuals to work collaboratively in addressing issues such as poverty, conflict, displacement, and environmental degradation confronting the less privileged Nigerians.

“Fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and active engagement to address humanitarian crisis can ensure that the principles of human rights remain at the forefront of our actions.

“On this World Humanitarian Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to the values that bind us together as a nation, recognising that it is our collective responsibility to create a just and inclusive society.


“A society where every individual’s rights are respected and upheld. Together, we can advance the cause of humanity no matter what.”

He also paid tribute to humanitarian heroes who lost their lives in providing selfless services to humanity worldwide.





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