By Alaine Elizabeth, Udeh Sandra, Mamilor Ann and Sayo Hamzat
In a way, yes. This is evident in the panels set up to probe the activities of fuel marketers and also the Presidency’s vow to deal with the culprits. But government can do a lot more to instil transparency in the system. We must stop the barefaced stealing that is going on in the oil sector.
No, government seems to lack the courage to deal with the subsidy problem.because those involved in that scandal are still walking around freely. Any offense that does not attract punishment is no offense. They should be brought to books. Promoters of those oil companies are still walking the streets like the crime has been legislated.
The issue of fuel subsidy is a growing issue as we hear new stories about it everyday. The removal of fuel subsidy is right as it will enable government to raise enough funds to focus on the improvement of basic infrastructure needed for the development of the economy but this should be based on accountability by government. Fuel subsidy removal practically means that fuel will be sold by individual marketers at their own price thereby making government to save money for roads, creation of job opportunities,standardizing power generation and more, but the problem now is that government is not trustworthy.
Government must create amenities for the people to be able to endure the hardships. But I won’t say government is doing it right as the people are still struggling to face the hardships of bad economy especially with the increase in the price of fuel and unstable power supply.
We understand that government has been spending billions of naira to subsidize fuel so that it can be affordable for the poor masses but part of the money can be used for other important things.
Fuel subsidy removal implies that there will be competition in the market among individual marketers and there will be accessibility but fuel subsidy has led to the monopolizing of fuel by a particular group of people which is why we sometimes experience scarcity of fuel. Now, the question is, can government be trusted with the funds accruable from the fuel subsidy removal?. Well, I won’t say government is trying or not but I am still believing that they are still on the drawing board, visioning and making solid foundation concerning this issue. Government should also endeavor to fish out those in the oil sector who are stealing the subsidy funds.
Mr. Tunde Akinsanya
No, the government is not doing anything. In fact, our government encourages corruption especially in the oil sector. Concerning this subsidy scandal, how do the oil marketers have access to the subsidy funds without documentation? The committee they set up is just to hoodwink the people that they are working. What they were supposed to do was to monitor the subsidy payment, and back it up with full documentation.
What do you expect from a situation where the wrong people are in government, people who do not have governance experience?
Bidemi M. Akinsanya
Government is supposed to seize the passports of those involved, their property, lock them up before anything. The government is not doing anything. How can they wait since January before doing anything? They are using the alleged bribery to cover up a grave anomaly. We are not deceived.
Yes, government has listed some plans/benefits from the removal of the fuel subsidy as construction of roads, rehabilitation of railway, building of refineries, the hydro stations, information technology and water projects.
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment program, under which the projects would be executed, also provides for the implementation of short term social welfare programmes to alleviate the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians. These programs will comprise mass transit, public works, including training in artisanship for unskilled youth and social services to reduce high maternal and infant mortality rates. These projects will be funded from the Federal Government share of the savings derived from the removal of the fuel subsidies. The government is doing its best to resolve the bribery scandal between Femi Otedola and Farouk Lawan.
Government is playing hide and seek on the matter of subsidy money. Femi Otedola and Farouk Lawan are in the comfort of their respective houses. Government has not done enough, this is demonstrated by their inability to initiate legal proceedings against the two actors in the scandal and others alleged to be involved in the mismanagement of the subsidy funds.
A couple of committees have been set up by government to look into the subsidy thing. This is a sign of unseriousness from government in prosecuting those alleged to be involved in the scam. Farouk and Femi Otedola ought to be with the EFCC now telling investigatyors what they know. The way the situation is going, this matter may end up the way most other cases have been treated in Nigeria before.