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Fuel subsidy: Kill corruption not Nigerians

There is no gainsaying the fact that the NLC is being hypocritical on their stance as regards fuel subsidy removal. As a matter of fact,...

There is no gainsaying the fact that the NLC is being hypocritical on their stance as regards fuel subsidy removal. As a matter of fact, I believe that their call for protest against the removal of subsidy was hypocritical considering the fact that they even supported and campaigned for a presidential candidate who advocated for subsidy removal during electioneering campaign.

It only shows that the NLC is not committed to principle and that they are only being a toothless bulldog that they have been as a result of their excessive romance with the ruling elite.

Beyond NLC talks, the federal government and, indeed, their apologists are being hypocritical on the arguments they are pushing in support of 300 per cent increment in the pump price of PMS since the removal of fuel subsidy was declared. Their argument that it was only the rich, not the poor masses, with several cars that benefited from fuel subsidy and that the proceeds made from the removal will be used to make life better for the poor people are lies from the pit of hell.

In its sane sense, subsidy on fuel being solely beneficial to the rich as a justification for its removal to redistribute resources equitably for improved living standard is a flawed logic.

Why must the general public be made to carry the brunt of the failure of the government to arrest the few rich sabotaging the subsidy on fuel?

Despite the fact that kerosene and diesel have been deregulated with no subsidy on them for years, it has not translated into gains that benefit the Nigerian people directly.

So, it amounts to reckless lie and mere wishful thought to claim that the removal of fuel subsidy would translate into improved funding of social services that the people will directly benefit from. Is this not a government that is keen on increasing tuition fees across tertiary institutions in the country?

I find it embarrassing that activists and student unionists are even spinning narratives in support of the removal of subsidy by saying that the economic pain the people will bear is going to be for a while. But history has shown us that this is not the truth in any sense of it. Whenever government comes with such austerity measure, things only get worse for the poor while the rich get richer at the expense of the suffering masses.

The government should not just come up to declare subsidy removal as a means of fighting corruption but they must be ready to make everyone who benefitted from it answerable to the people.

The labour union and students body must demand for a living wage of not less than N100,000 for workers, while also letting it clear that Nigerians are against total deregulation of the downstream sector where the regime of prices is dependent on oil barons whose only reason for business is profit.

Nigerians want fuel subsidy, but we are disgusted that it is the rich oil barons that are reaping the funds. So, the call is to probe all the subsidy scams and deficits. Then government must make the three refineries work again so there would be no excuse of the rate of “landing costs” and some other hitches in exporting crude oil, and importing petrol.


Kazeem Olalekan Israel wrote from Ibadan


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