CSOs, others blame fuel subsidy for Nigeria’s economic woes
The fuel subsidy regime is partly responsible for the economic woes of Nigeria, the civil society organisations and professionals drawn from various parts of the country have said.
According to a communiqué after a ‘National Town Hall Meeting on Removal of Petroleum Subsidy’ in Abuja, yesterday, the group argued that fuel subsidy, which has existed for decades, has been without transparency and accountability.
The development, they observed, has costs the Federal Government a whopping N250 billion monthly.
The communiqué, signed by the National Chairman of the group, Isah Abubakar; Secretary, Joe Moses and two other officials noted that the meeting, which was held on Sunday, observed that the removal of fuel subsidy regime as planned would facilitate the implementation of the 2022 national budget of N17.13 trillion.
It alleged that the subsidy regime led to payment of false claims.
“The town hall meeting observed that the monthly payment of over N250 billion has done serious damage to the economy for decades.
“It would continue to degenerate the nation’s revenue until the economy is irrevocably damaged,” the communiqué stated.
The CSOs asserted that the subsidy was responsible for fuel smuggling across the borders.
They urged the Federal Government to ensure maintenance and rehabilitation of the country’s refineries to meet local fuel consumption in the country.
On the palliative announced by government to cushion the effect of the proposed subsidy removal, the group tasked the Federal Government to ensure payment to citizens, while urging the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) not to embark on industrial action over the issue, but to allow dialogue.
“The planned palliative by the Federal Government to the citizens in the circumstance that the fuel subsidy regime is fully scrapped is a noble idea, as it would mitigate hardships occasioned by the removal.”