Oct 6, 2011

Removal of Fuel Subsidy: Is it a priority?

The deeply upsetting subject of the removal of fuel subsidy has re-emerged again. Whether people against it will win this time remains to be seen. It is obvious however that a lot of Nigerians are against the removal due to the general belief that life will get harder. In view of the complexity of our problems, there is the need for us to examine whether the removal of fuel subsidy is a priority at this point in time or not.
During his campaign, Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, made a number of promises to Nigerians. At this point in time, it is too early to expect Mr. President to have fulfilled these promises. If the issue of subsidy removal becomes successful however, it will be his first milestone. Sadly, it was not a campaign promise. Thus the issue of the removal of the subsidy is Mr. President’s personal and hidden agenda. T Priority number I: OUR LEADERS MUST BE SINCERE AND SELFLESS.
One argument in favor of the removal of fuel subsidy is that it has been abused by two major categories of Nigerians. These are the fuel importers and their NNPC accomplices on one hand and smugglers, who cross over to neighboring nations to sell at higher prices after enjoying the subsidy of government, on the other. It is good that we have been able to identify these criminal activities. We can only proof that there is a criminal if one has been arrested. How many NNPC officials have been jailed for an offence they are known to commit? Priority number II: OVERHAUL THE JUDICIARY FOR EFFIECIENCY.
It is said that Nigeria’s petrol pump price at N65 per liter is the cheapest in the world. There is nothing wrong with this as other nations are the best in other areas. Nigeria should lead other nations in some areas too. In other nations, governments have regular allowances such as social security or welfare, usually paid to unemployment citizens. In Nigeria we don’t have this. Thus fuel subsidy is welfare or social security in disguise. Priority number III: NIGERIA SHOULD LEAD OTHER NATIONS IN AT LEAST ONE AREA.
It is said that the withdrawal of fuel subsidy will save about a trillion naira that can be used to improve the lives of Nigerians in other areas. Fuel subsidy is meant to cushion the lives of ordinary Nigerians and it is doing it. Priority number VI: WE SHOULD LEARN TO SEE ISSUES PROPERLY.
Nigeria’s electricity has not improved yet. Millions of Nigerians have been able save their jobs by the use of electric generators that run at N65 per liter. These jobs can be lost by the withdrawal of fuel subsidy since businesses thrive only when the output is higher than the input. Priority number V: THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT MUST WORK TO PROTECT EXISTING JOBS.

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