By TAYE OBATERU, Jos
A House of Representatives member from Plateau State, Mr. Emmanuel Go’ar has said government needs to do more to convince Nigerians on the planned subsidy removal as majority are sceptical of government’s claims.
He said in an interview that Nigerians were not convinced by the reasons adduced by government to justify the action based on experience on government’s handling of proceeds from previous subsidy removals. He also faulted what he called the elitist approach to selling the idea to Nigerians.
According to the member representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency, “In the past, our government had not been upright enough in terms of management of resources, so there is the need for this government to come up with cogent reasons why it must remove the subsidy and how it is going to manage the proceeds.”
“Because if you are not faithful with the one you have, how are you going to convince the citizens that you will judiciously handle the surplus you will get from removal of subsidy.
“This is part of the questions Nigerians are asking across the board, based on their experiences. Until the government provides answers to this and other salient questions the resentment and criticisms may not abate.”
Go’ar said government should have consulted with critical shareholders who have direct link with the people to convince them on the planned action before going public with it, adding that democracy was about carrying the people along in decision making.
Noting that the current campaign started on a wrong footing, he called for a change of strategy by first addressing the problems of corruption, decayed infrastructure and fixing of the refineries in the country before anything else.
He warned that subsidy removal could bring serious headache to the administration the way it is being handled.