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Fuel hike: Stop playing politics with subsidy removal, Group tells CUPP

A civil society group, the Network for Transparency and Good Governance (NTGG) has berated the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) for trying to play…

A civil society group, the Network for Transparency and Good Governance (NTGG) has berated the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) for trying to play politics with the emotions of Nigerians over the recent fuel subsidy removal which has led to the temporary hike in the pump price of petrol.

CUPP, a political opposition group, had alleged that the fuel subsidy removal was a scam to cage Nigerians, calling for the removal of Mr. Mele Kyari, the group chief executive officer, GCEO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

But, NTGG, in a statement co-signed by its national coordinator, Friday Imoni and national secretary, Gana Alkali, said: “We read with dismay a spurious statement credited to the disgruntled Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), calling for the removal of Mr. Mele Kyari, the group chief executive officer, GCEO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), over the recent subsidy removal.

“As the current administration tackles our national challenges and at this period, we all should focus on issues of nation building, but the best PDP and its acolytes are offering is a distraction.

“Fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria is an economic necessity, as the subsidy funds could lead to major development gains. With the proper structure, such as building good infrastructure and a conducive environment for investors, removing subsidies is a blessing the economy needs right now.

“For instance, the amount paid out on subsidies from 2005 to 2021 is equivalent to the entire budget for health, education, agriculture, and defence in the last five years. The sum also equals the capital expenditure for 10 years between 2011 and 2020.

“The removal of subsidy will free allocations which can be channeled to the provision of infrastructure like roads, education, health service, power, security, creation of jobs, development of the downstream sector, improve our GDP growth, clamp down on product theft, pipeline vandalism, environmental pollution, foreign exchange shortages and provision of basic benefits for Nigerians.

“It’s however laughable that the personal interests and frustrations of the promoters of CUPP have beclouded their reasoning.

“The recent fuel pump price adjustment from N537 to N617 per litre was as a result of forces being determined by foreign exchange fluctuations induced by international market forces. The government is, however, working to mitigate the hardship occasioned by the increment in the fuel pump price.”

While calling for the continued support and appealing to Nigerians for the temporary pains of the initiative, the group said: “Instead of the PDP and their minions to join hands with the current administration to salvage the economy, they have, in the name of opposition, continued to distract the government and Nigerians with their post-election delusions, salacious fictions, conjured rifts in government circle, and their spurious allegations against the NNPCL and its management.”

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