Advocacy group speaks on subsidy removal, tasks Tinubu on public infrastructure
The Centre for Equity and Eradication of Rural Poverty has regretted continued reactions over the recent suspension of fuel subsidy payments by the federal government of Nigeria.
Our correspondent recalls that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the fuel subsidy removal during his inaugural speech last month.
He said subsidy could no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources, promising to re-channel the funds for fuel subsidy payment into critical public infrastructure that would materially enhance the lives of millions.
The recent development caused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to announce an increase in the pump price of fuel products from N197 per litre to over N500.
But the group, Centre for Equity and Eradication of Rural Poverty in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Don Ubani, issued on Friday, noted that no society can survive on the sustainment of corruption in its public account sector.
The pro-democracy group described the policy(oil subsidy regime) as a clear manifestation of corruption deliberately planted by a cabal in the country’s public financial system just to endlessly enrich itself at the detriment of Nigeria’s economy, her citizens and future.
The civic group said, “although on the 1st of January, 2012 that former President Goodluck Jonathan had announced the removal of oil subsidy, he, unfortunately, did not have enough capacity to withstand pressure from the opposition political parties and the organized labour.
“Not minding that President Tinubu and the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari, as then opposition chieftains, had vehemently opposed the good idea, it was obvious they both knew it was the best thing to do.
The group called on the opposition parties and organized labour to give the new President some time to channel the funds appropriated and paid by the Nigerian government on oil subsidy.
“Now that President Tinubu has removed his apron of opposition, he has embraced the spirit of circumstantial realization that opposition parties and the organized labour should give the President the benefit of the doubt in improving critical public infrastructure, education, health and job creations.
“Adequate security should be provided on our roads and rail lines. Government-owed refineries should be duly privatised and made optimally functional.
“Both National and Sub-National Minimum Wages should be reviewed, with a view to not have workers receive a monthly take-home of less than fifty thousand naira.
“That interested citizens should be adequately motivated to engage profitably in agriculture. Considerable attention should be paid to the health sector, especially the primary health system.