Asaba (NAN) Artisans in Asaba, Delta, have decried the proposed removal of fuel subsidy and appealed to Federal Government to have a re-think on the issue in the interest of the masses.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), they said that if the proposal was implemented, the hardship it would bring to poor households would be devastating.
According to Kennedy Nwachukwu, a welder, what the government is planning to do is to increase the price of fuel and that means that they want to kill us.
“As a welder, I rely on electricity for my business and you know that we don’t have power supply in Asaba and it has been affecting me adversely, making me to depend on generator and petrol.
“Now, the government which has not given us electricity, is planning to increase the price of fuel and that will amount to compounding the problem. The cost of living will be too high for us.”
Another welder, Mr Okobi Onyema, said that it was unfortunate that government could come up with such idea, especially now that the “economy of most households was poor”.
He said that the decision appeared to demonstrate that the government was insensitive to the level of hardship in the country.
“It’s unfortunate that nobody is saying anything or doing something to stop the government from going ahead with the subsidy removal in Jan. 2012. They should remember the poor in the society.”
Onyema, however, said that if the policy was implemented, Nigerians would bear it as they had always done but lamented that it would further increase the cost of living.
On his part, Mr Patrick Ossai, a tailor, said that if nobody in the country was talking or doing something about the proposed pump price rise, then, there would be nothing to worry about if government implemented the policy.
He said that only a handful of Nigerians would be benefiting from the minimum wage, which may help them to cushion the effect of the hardship that would result from the fuel price increase.
“The majority of us who are not entitled to the any wage would suffer the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidy”, he said, adding that the situation would affect everyone, including farmers.