The Centre for Global Solutions and Sustainable Development (CENGSSUD), strongly frowns at the level of insensitivity and poor mannerism displayed by the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the sudden removal of the pump price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol.
Despite the fact that we are not unaware of the long-term economic benefits and gains through the removal of subsidy, and the moves to block financial insanities, recklessness and looting by the few Cabals in sucking the nation’s treasury dry which at the end always reduce the government’s financial ability and capability to engage in robust developmental projects, yet we condemn the timing and the manner of removal.
Fuel Subsidy is one of the most sensitive and controversial issues in Nigeria and if must be removed, must not be something sudden and done in isolation. The manner in which the federal government hits the heart of Nigerians with breaking news on policies or actions that will have immediate negative impacts on their lives without wild consultations and adequate public enlightenment and education to sensitize the masses, or get prepared for adjustment where necessary is highly condemnable.
It is important at this point to remind the Federal Government that there are three (3) faces to development, the Government, the Private Sector and the Civil Society. It is unacceptable for government to take actions without carrying along the other two sectors especially the Civil Society organization that are the last hope of the common man, in fact, development is incomplete without the input from the Civil Society.
At a time Nigerians are still very shock and finding it difficult to cope with the recent imposition of the cruel, criminal and unjustifiable electricity tariff which has made Nigerians to pay more for darkness and services not rendered, a time where the inflation in the country has risen from single to double digits as a result of the harsh and unfavourable Forex policies and other short-sighted economic policies, a time where companies finding it difficult to cope with operations and laying-off workers due to economic realities, a time when the standard of living of Nigerians reducing and income insufficient, a time when more people are drawn into the pool of poverty and hunger due to the unexplainable situations, the Government should rather thing of urgent fixes to salvage those situations than adding to the suffering of the masses.
We also frown at the FG’s price fixing of N145, as we are yet to know what yardstick or logic the government used to arrive at this figure. It is also contradictory for FGN to remove subsidy and also be fixing the pump price at the same time. Will NNPC equally be selling at N145, despite refining our natural God’s gifted resources locally without Forex or going to the parallel market other marketers will be going?
We hereby call the government to immediately do the needful and return things to the status quo
As subsidy is very a sensitive issue, and not something government can tamper or play with without putting various structures and palliatives in place.
If the government cannot be quick to increase the minimum wage of workers, fix the forex, electricity, security, unemployment, economic challenges etc, should not be also quick to remove the subsidy.