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THE PAINS AND THE GAINS OF FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL


BY: GODDAY ODIDI  
 Published January 15th, 2012

With the day to day mass protests across the country over the sudden removal of fuel subsidy by organized labour and trade unions and other civil society groups to reverse the pump price of fuel from #140 per litre to #65 per litre which the federal government has kept adamant on Nigerians claiming that certain persons are sponsors of these magnitude of protests in the country. Though Nigerians are still battling to overcome the palpable fears of the dreaded sect called Boko Haram and insecurity system in the northern part of Nigeria which Boko Haram members have callously issued a warning letter to all southerners to evacuate the region within the specified time when President Jonathan greeted the country with the so-called fuel subsidy removal which has impoverished the country in recent times.The deregulation of downstream oil sector kick-started since 2002 when the then president Olusegun Obasanjo brought the initiative but was thrown into the waste can.The removal of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) fuel indicated the abysmally failure on the part of the government to negotiate with the labour unions who are closer to the people.

The fuel subsidy removal has rendered small medium businesses useless which has given opportunity to middlemen to trade on illegal transactions on the name of subsidy and nothing else. The government is yet to response to the cry of the masses who came en mass to vote for Jonathan in 2011 general elections with the premonition that he was the right candidate for the position but the reverse is the case.The Save Nigeria Group(SNG) fought tirelessly to see that the President was sworn as the Acting President then but it has disappointed the masses.The so-called intelligent advisers of the president succeeded making the people to eat from the dustbin which agenda has been politically diverted to selfish interests of certain cabals in the country. Even as the Town hall meeting was shown on the various electronic and print media to kill the idea of fuel subsidy which Jonathan failed to consult Nigerians before his autocratic decision that could put the country into anarchy if not prevented in time.

The organized labour needed to be commended for their tirelessly efforts to see that the deregulation is scrapped but government is only interested in using economic theories and books to decide the Nigeria economy. Even the World economy powers are not left out in this milt-faceted crises in Nigeria.The cabals or oil cartel are not bigger than Nigerians. The likes of Tunde Bakare, Yinka Odunmakin and others needed to be commended for the ongoing mass protests in the country.The fuel subsidy removal has equally rendered the nation 's economic activities to halt. This is a country where the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer in all ramifications. Most of these protesters are not hungry people which the government failed to realized rather than sending wrong signals that the protesters are being sponsored by opposition parties to feather their nests. The PDP led government has failed the people with such inflicting pains on a new year like this. How many Nigerians can afford the new price of fuel? Even black market sells a litre of fuel forN 200 Jonathan told us in his campaign that he had no shoes but the reverse is the case. People are being molested by security operatives due these massive protests across the country.The cabals must be brought to book.

In 2009, precisely Late President Musa Yar'Adua brought the idea of Fuel Subsidy removal but was refuted by the

people of the country.Though Fuel subsidy removal according to the minister of finance and other government stakeholders believe that the notion could bring massive infrastructural development to Nigeria.Jonathan has told Nigerians that within 6 months the country will be fixed with good roads, buses for easy transportation,job provision for graduates, health services and others. Although, many said the idea could be political gimmicks to draw the attention of Nigerians to accept fuel subsidy. May I ask where is the money going to? The government is politically corrupt to the core. The past leaders succeeded in destroying the country with corruption.

Lastly, appointing Dr Kolade as a committee chairman to head the fuel subsidy removal is not a mistake but Nigerians want Jonathan to revert the pump price of fuel toN65 or he should resign now.

BY GODDAY ODIDI,PRESIDENT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE GROUP,PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST.20 ORO STREET AJEGUNLE APAPA LAGOS.08058124798,08063458693.


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