Over Fuel, Naira Scarcity, Violence On Nigerian Elections: UN Raises Concerns

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The United Nations (UN) System in Nigeria has expressed interests over possible adverse plunder of the lagging fuel insufficiency, the difficulties exacted on Nigerians by the Naira exchange policy and violence on the forthcoming 2023 general election.

These issues were raised at the first daily briefing of the diplomatic community convened by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Matthias Schmale, at the UN House on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, even as the UN rephrased its commitment to supporting Nigeria in ensuring peaceful, believable, and inclusive elections in 2023.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by the National Information Officer, UN Information Centre (UNIC), Dr. Oluseyi Soremekun, the UN Resident Coordinator accentuated the significance of peaceful and believable elections for the unification of Nigeria’s democracy and that of the African region.

READ MORE: I hope nothing tampers with 2023 elections – Obasanjo

The Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC), Schmale noted, had made some significant progress in preparing and administering elections, and “we need to admit the significance of this. At the same time, INEC is facing some challenges for example around logistics, power supply, employing and deploying the right workforce at the right time.

The UN Resident Coordinator also expressed concern about some strong statements of intolerance and hate speech across party lines in public space and urged all political parties and their aspirants to exercise caution and to hew to the terms of the Peace Accord they signed.

On the UN Strategic Development Cooperation Framework signed with the government of Nigeria, Schmale explained that it was imperative for the UN to support the government in accelerating the pursuance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Amongst other transformative initiatives, he emphasised the magnitude of domestic resource mobilization, private sector investment and conducive business terrain as critical success factors in moving the needle in achieving lesser abundance for all in Nigeria.

Speaking on climate change, the Resident Coordinator reaffirmed the reality of climate change and its impact in Nigeria and called on the transnational community to support accelerated climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

Last year’s destructive flood events and the Cholera outbreak have shown that humanitarian crises aren’t limited to the North-East alone. wherefore, we need to support the government in addressing humanitarian challenges outside the North-East, ” he added.

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