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VOICES ON FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL

By Tina Ogbebor, Olufunmilayo Obadina and Michelle Rita Ochonogor

Subsidy removal will free     N1.2 trillion in savings   part of which can be deployed in providing safety nets for poor segments of the society to ameliorate the effects of the subsidy removal
–President Goodluck Jonathan.

The fear of Nigerians on fuel subsidy removal is that the operators of our economy have fallen in love with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The interest of Nigerians should be paramount when debating this matter and  must be guided by the spirit of patriotism – Rep  Alimi Suleiman

We will discuss the fiscal elements for growth and development in Nigeria including priorities for transforming Nigeria’s economy. The recommendations made here will have far-reaching consequences for the overall economy of Nigeria and expect that you will take this responsibility seriously.– Finance minister and minister coordinating the economy-  Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

My personal belief is that there is a cartel within the petroleum industry and, whatever they do, like most of you will understand, it is just exclusive to them. Ninety per cent of us are totally out of that circle and we don’t know what happens – Senate President  David Mark.

Fuel subsidy removal at this time is not ideal. This timing is wrong. It is wrong in the sense that the right investment climate, a conducive atmosphere for investment that will promote competition, until we have that conducive  atmosphere, it is not appropriate to remove fuel subsidy – Hon. Peter Akpattason.

It  (subsidy) is not good for the people. You as a Nigerian and as a journalist, go and check the records of the NNPC, they have deducted N1.3 trillion as subsidy from January till date. For goodness sake, if we pump N1.3 trillion into the economy, how do you think the economy will be? And with that N1.3 trillion, I believe it can build more than five refineries in this country and they are taking it and putting it in the pockets of  a  few. Then, how come is our country like this? – Abul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

It is not proper for the policy to be import-driven. We should concentrate on building our local capacity through maintenance of existing refineries and building new plants among other things before thinking about the policy in order to reduce negative impact on people – Mr. Igwe Achese.

The purported support of the OPS for the removal of fuel subsidy is not true, as the OPS is yet to meet and take a position on this issue – Segun Oshinowo (NECA).

If this issue of subsidy is well managed, there will be no need to remove it – Ali Ndume (PDP Borno).
As far as  I am concerned, what the government wants to do is subsidy removal, not deregulation. If they want to regulate, they have to look at the entire oil and gas sector from a composite perspective, where round pegs are put in round holes. But it seems that what the government wants to do by their proposed removal of subsidy is cut and join – Peter Esele -President, TUC).
Only those who do not wish President Goodluck Jonathan and Nigerians well would advise him to withdraw fuel subsidy – Dr. Frederick Fasheun.

If it is because they want more money to spend, then the problem will reoccur at another time as long as the Naira falls against dollar – Ajibola Ogunshola.

By year-end, we will have a fuel subsidy bill of over N1.2 trillion as against the N240b budgeted in the Appropriation Act – Bukola Saraki.

We have not taken a position on the issue yet. Personally, I don’t have a position on the issue. I am just a presiding officer in the House and I am expected to be on the side of the majority of member of the House – Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal.

Nigerians must be told how the Federal Government arrived at the figure of N1.4 trillion spent on subsidy in the past nine months. The  figure is crazy. Even if all Nigerians are drinking petrol the way we drink pure water, how many litres do we consume? Who is taking what? Let the Federal Government publish the names of companies benefiting from it and names of their directors – Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.

Nigerians should allow  government to remove the subsidy in order to create room for openness and a pool of funds to undertake massive investments in infrastructure. Government  should come up with measurable palliative measures and milestones to be achieved within given periods of time, failure of which ordinary Nigerians should march to the streets. – Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State.

Nigerians should trust President Goodluck Jonathan on fuel subsidy –  Mr Rotimi Fashakin.

If we refine our products, we will not need these charges which the Federal Government calls subsidy. It is very clear that by attempting to increase the fuel pump price, government is visiting its inefficiency on Nigerians – Owei Lakemfa.

I am advocating gradual removal of the oil subsidy in phases and not the type proposed by government. I had expected government to call the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and all stakeholders in the country to a dialogue on best possible ways to remove the subsidy, without the citizenry feeling the pain as well as on what the government intends to spend the money so realised – Victor Etefia (IPMAN).

Government should address the challenges facing the petroleum sector to reduce the cost of bridging and importation of the commodity – Isa Tijjani (Natural Gas Workers  Union President).

As long as we are concerned, the governors, who recommended the removal of fuel subsidy, are a bunch of disappointment. After voting for them, they think they could pay us back with the removal of fuel subsidy. We will resist an attempt to declare Nigeria a prison-yard by mobilising Nigerians against the planned removal of fuel subsidy –
Chief Jackson Omenazu (The Chancellor of the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights).

The subsidy withdrawal would make the majority of Nigerians poorer – Justice Babatunde Adejumo (NIC President).


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