Prominent Nigerians warn against politising subsidy crisis
Prominent Nigerians including former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Philip Asiodu, a chieftain of the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Amos Olayinka and Dr. Goke Adegoroye have warned against attempts to politisise the ongoing crisis over the fuel price increase.
While Asiodu called for ‘structured dialogue’ on the crisis, Olayinka urged Nigerians to be cautious about the planned industrial action by the Nigerian union of workers.
The former minister urged the Nigerian workers union to exercise patience and allow room for proper education and enlightenment of Nigerians on the issue.
Asiodu said the reason the country continued to battle with the subsidy crisis over the years was because Nigerians have not been adequately educated on the issue and unfortunately at every opportunity when the issue could have been trashed out and resolved, it ended up being politicized.
The former Petroleum Minister spoke who with The Guardian on telephone said, “There is no point adding more pains to Nigerians by calling for strike. More dialogue should be done to enable Nigerians see reason why the oil sector should be deregulated to break the cartels of those benefiting from the subsidy.”
According to him, “The Nigerian masses including the workers who were planning to protest are not in anyway benefiting from the subsidy as the Federal Government is no longer in position to continue paying the subsidy. The situation calls for serious dialogue.”
Olayinka said any industrial action for now would not translate to anything concrete or meaningful result at the end of the day but rather add more pains to the embattled Nigerian masses.
Adegoroye, a retired permanent secretary and CEO Governance and Sustainable Development Initiatives (GSDI), said the fuel price hike would enable the country to see the end of the cartel in the oil sector who have been feeding fat on the subsidy for a long time.
According to him, “Buhari’s decision was the best and the most courageous any Nigerian leader has taken. It would be beneficial to the country and the masses.”