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Sunday, April 14, 2024

FG playing games with Nigerians on fuel subsidy removal — Lakemfa

FG playing games with Nigerians on fuel subsidy removal — Lakemfa

Former secretary general, Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Owei Lakemfa, has said the Nigerian government was merely playing games with Nigerians on fuel subsidy.

According to him, “its decision to shelve the announced subsidy withdrawal is a tactical move hoping to lure Nigerians to sleep and then suddenly slapping steep fuel price increases on them.”

He added that “President Buhari has repeated a number of times that fuel subsidy is a fraud, so why shelve, rather than back away from the removal of the fraudulent subsidy?

“If we are an oil producing country with four refineries and an installed capacity of 445,000 bpd but do not refine a drop, will it be logical for government to penalise the citizenry for its gross incompetence?

“If after seven years of claiming to be a functional government, the Buhari administration cannot add value to the life of Nigerians, then it has no right to continuously devalue it,” he said.

Equally, the director of International Press Centre (IPC), Lanre Arogundade said “they are bowing to pressure but we must remain vigilant.”

In the same vein, the director of programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu said it is a positive step to see the federal government stepping down its decision on the removal of fuel subsidy especially with the current realities in Nigeria, the level of poverty and the hardship faced by citizens.

“Government policy has to, at all-time, take into cognizance the demands and realities of the people. While the proposed decision on the removal of fuel subsidy remains an important national decision to be made subsequently, it should be a decision that is implemented with better timing.

“The decision of a better timing will be determined by several factors some of which include first; the adoption of a more people-centric approach in the decision to removal of subsidy.

“This will require different levels of citizens and stakeholders’ consultations to ensure the narrative on the removal is clear, accurate and devoid of political mischief.

“Secondly, will be the need for the introduction and implementation of economic policies to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel security, and investing in social security and welfare of the people.

“Thirdly will be need to build citizens trust in government driven by a commitment by the government to accountability, especially with respect to fiscal management,” she said.


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