How fuel subsidy removal affect Nigerians

By June 7, 2023 June 8th, 2023 No Comments

We are told that fuel subsidy removal will help Nigerians, but Nigerians are the ones suffering from the removal of fuel subsidy. In a country choking from inflation, doubling the inflation rate is rather too much for the people who are already multidimensionally poor to take and sustain the increase of petrol price.

Since the inauguration day that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu made the rather hasty statement without adequate planning, the cost of living rose following the increased pump price which tripled above the normal price.

Transportation cost tripled, food items tripled and cost of services also has tripled. Nigerians are frustrated but in their usual manner, they have rather adjusted than pressure the government to truly work for them.

Subsidy is crippling Nigeria’s economy, no doubt, as few people – the oil marketers, have utilised loopholes to make more money than the country can sustain.

The oil subsidy regime is crippling the economy and individuals who benefit from the subsidy would rather have the subsidy continue than let it stop. This shows they are unsympathetic to the plights of the people as some became very powerful.

Fuel subsidy no doubt takes a large chunk of the national income and most times loopholes are exploited for the benefit of the few.

Nigeria is a country where there is no accountability so long ethnicity or religion is exploited to keep the people busy and keep the country down. Different administrations promise to remove subsidies but often go back to subsidise the oil industry.

Nigerians are constantly told it’s in their interests to kick out the subsidy but they are not told how it will benefit them and add more revenue to their lean pockets. Removal or not of the subsidy will pain the people but as the country is often governed insincerely, the benefits which the people are promised could be an illusion.

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Either way, subsidy removal is for the benefit of the ruling, business class and oil marketers. The burden of which has been transferred to the people.

“The problem in Nigeria is that often the government tells the masses to suffer and sacrifice for a better future, but in the future, things get worse.” Peter Obi said.

It could be understood that if subsidy is not removed forcefully, it could never be removed but in removing that, measures should be taken to ameliorate the pains for the people.

Nigeria’s economy is in the red. Debt and servicing of the same take huge sums of money from the country’s coffers but you cannot inflict more pains to Nigerians where the said gain from subsidy removal will be looted by the ‘jackals and hyenas.’

Oil is largely stolen from the country and no one is making an effort to plug the holes. Refineries are largely moribund and “modular refineries are not refining due to fuel pump price regulation,” Group Executive Director, Refining, NNPC, Mustapha Yakubu had said.

Before declaring subsidy removal, common sense dictates that these refineries should be put to work, flood the market with enough oil, then remove subsidies. By doing so, the pains of the recent pump price increase will be less and inflation will be checked.

Nigerian leaders are often selfish, greedy, corrupt, fraudulent and clueless. It is quite evident in the purported unveiling of the Nigerian Air.

‘The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, said the launch of Nigeria Air by the Muhammadu Buhari administration was a fraud done in secrecy.’ The Guardian reports.

The fraud is even more in the oil sector. “Nigeria spent more than 11.35 trillion naira ($25 billion) on fixing the country’s three moribund refineries in the past 10 years”, Reuters reported.

As reported by the Daily Post, “The Federal Government spent over N4.8 trillion as operating cost on refineries that were unable to produce refined petroleum resources, while that government at the same time was spending trillions on fuel subsidy.”

Despite these spending, Nigeria still imports petrol. Yet, Nigerians are now required to bear the pain and are convinced that it is in the interest of the nation.

After looting the economy of Nigeria to penury, spending without result, the ruling class has now shifted to making the people pay more and shoulder the weight of governance. This is despite payments of tax.

Nigerians are cheated at all fronts by their leaders.

As Kwara and Edo states have reduced the working days to three and two days respectively, to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal, the Federal government should do the same. More so, these leaders should be made to bear more subsidy pain. After all, most of their utilities, by virtue of the offices they occupy, are funded by the government.

It is about time for Nigerians to stop absorbing so much of these cluelessness and begin to demand good governance and accountability from their leaders.

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