BY MOSES NOSIKE
Representing a section of Aluminium Manufactureres Association of Nigeria, Anayo Okoye, an Asaba based Flight Aluminum manufacturer has also condemned the planned removal of petroleum subsidy citing the cartel in the oil sector as the major problem of the country in the supply and distribution of petroleum products. “The problem is the cartel in the oil business that takes the product outside the country which government subsidizes.”
He opines that a large chunck of petroleum products are being exported and diverted to another country. He stressed that “it is the duty of the customs and immigration officers to stop them when lifting it to the neighbouring countries. The truth remains that our government is aware that cartel is going on in this country. So for the government to succeed in its plan to develop this country, cartel must stop,” he reasoned.
He pointed out that it is against the wish of the common man for subsidy to be removed and since government is ruling over the masses, they should listen to the voice of the peopl. “We know that government spends much in subsidizing the petroleum product for the common man, but there is a need to protect the citizens of this country. “I dont support the removal in any way”
According to him, the masses are suffereing, while infrastructure is at its lowest ebb.
“There are no good road, epileptic power supply is the order of the day which cause manufacturers to produce at high cost. The problem of this country is that government finds it difficult to stand by its promises. If we go on strike while others didn’t, it will have adverse effect on the country. The economy will crumble and at the end the masses are always at the receiving end. By the way, who is the final consumer? It’s you and me. He emphasised that there are other areas of mineral resources that can serve as revenue for government if properly harnessed. Have they not been using it to deceive Nigerians? Most of our major roads are not motorable and yet they spend so much money on allowances especially the members of the National Assembly, leaving the poor people who voted them in penury.”
He however maintained that what is happening is necessary for the development of the country, adding that there will be a clash of interest for them to do the right thing. “We know that there must be a clash to a reasonable extent for the country to move forward.”
The issue is that today, there is no power supply from Power Holding Nig. Ltd. Presently, diesel now go for N230, N135 – N140 per litre and if a subsidy is removed, it means the cost of the products will certainly be increased. Now, how do you thing the manufactureres will produce to optimum capacitieis.
He maintained that “for government to be able to cushion the effect and ensure that manufactureres produce to capacities, I think it is difficult. Otherwise their companies will wind-up and their staff will equally become unemployed and their families will suffer.
“So, government should leave the subsidy alone and focus more on how to make electricity supply work well in this country. But if they insist, they want to remove the subsidy, the industry in this country will die because they will have no power source to run their engines for production. Even the trucks that convey them to the factories will have to take so much money in buying gas. For instance if they have 100 customers and at the end of the day they have three, the company will wind-up because they can’t pay the bills.”
Gboyegha Adesoye, the General Manager, Techlun Nig. Limited however differ in his opinion. He stated that diesel is already deregulated and the manufacturers are also buying it for their use, therefore, he did not see any thing wrong in deregulating the whole products.
“So, if the PMS is deregulated, I don’t see any different in it, after all manufacturers are not going to use diesel and the so called public that are using transport to go about their daily activities are using lorries that use diesel.” So, if anybody is saying that petroleum is going to affect the public, I don’t see any reason how it will affect the public because most vehicles that are plying the roads are using diesel, it’s only few ones that are using petrol. If the all the petroleum products are deregulated and you can’t fuel your car, then you can pack it and use public buses,” he stressed.
“If the money they are going to realise from deregulation is going to be used to service transportation and construction of roads and do other better things, so be it,” he yelled.