Veteran Nollywood actor Bob Manuel Udokwu has hugely criticized the president Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian Federal Government for what he described as economic difficulties laying siege on Nigerians.
Speaking to Punch Newspapers last weekend, Bob said:
"My appeal to the government is to bring the much desired change. Things are hard on Nigerians and we cannot continue like this.
"People are suffering, there is no money. People are not smiling. These days, you hear stories of food theft because of the bad situation of things. All is not well for now.
"I now use generators more than most Nigerians. We have no choice due to poor power supply in the country. I rely mostly on generator for my power needs. I cannot estimate how many hours I enjoy government power supply in a day, sometimes there is electricity today, and tomorrow there is none. It’s an on-and-off situation.
"Sometimes, there could be no power for weeks and I often forget there’s anything called government power supply. It’s just like what every other Nigerian experiences.
"I have three generators in my house. It is not deliberate and it is not to prove being rich, but it is because of the condition we have found ourselves in this country. I run one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the night. By doing this, I will be able to lengthen the lifespan of the generators. Of course, running the generator throughout the day creates a deep hole in the pocket, but what can we do with the epileptic power supply in the country?
"I have stopped calculating the amount. It is painful. You can just imagine if someone is spending just N1,000 per day to run a generator, in a month, you would have spent N30,000. Many Nigerians spend more than that per month. Personally, if I calculate what I spend on powering my generators, I will develop high blood pressure. I don’t bother again and of course there is no hope that power supply in this country will improve.
"No hope. There is none and I will tell you why. The issue of power supply in this country cannot be solved in a day. The problem was caused by a particular set of people in this country who don’t want to see things work. Twenty years ago, having a generator was by choice, not something everybody had. Only a few people had it. But things got worse afterwards and now the importation of generators is big business and the importers are making billions of naira from it.
"Some of the importers are big people in this country who are doing everything they can to not make power supply improve. Some of them partially own the companies that manufacture generators. These people are in the government and wield huge influence. I am pessimistic we can succeed in getting good power supply again in this country. If it is ever going to happen, it will involve the shedding of blood because the cabal will be ready to do anything for their business to keep thriving. I am putting this as a challenge to the government, let them prove me wrong. We can never get stable power supply again in this country."