By Uche Kenechukwu
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Senator Rilwan Akanbi, has said that the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government has crashed the daily figure of petrol consumption, saying government should increase wages as one of the ways of cushioning the effect of the stoppage of subsidy.
He also said President Bola Tinubu was decisive on the matter, noting that fixing refineries should also be prioritised.
The senator, who said this in a statement, said daily consumption of 69m litres suddenly dropped to 13m litres per day.
His words: “The subsidy removal is the only option and best decision for Nigeria’s survival. Mr President is on the right track. Indeed he is a courageous man who takes the bull by the horn. We must commend Mr President once again for the termination of swapping crude oil for refined products.
“NNPC Limited daily consumption figures collapsed drastically as the components parts of the old figures were, real domestic consumption, petrol smuggling across the borders to neighbouring countries and nonexistent petrol consumption figures that only existed because it was assigned to bogus subsidy claims.
“As a short-term solution, the fraud associated with oil subsidy has been exposed almost immediately with the removal of subsidy by Mr. President.
Our “previous” daily consumption of 69m litres suddenly dropped to 13m litres per day.
National and state government’s reduction of working days should be made mandatory where an hour increment may be on the days available for work. Also, a day may be taken off from the working school week, with an hour or two added to the school working days. Salary review with promised increments should be across board. Buoyant states can even go higher to cushion the effect. Aggressive and well-subsidized transportation by government will be helpful now. Open and liberalization of fuel importation by all is a welcome idea. Effective quality control monitoring and secured borders should be emphasised. This shall curb the excesses of a few bad eggs within the industry.
“With the liberalization of the oil industry, private refineries are coming on board, Dangote Refinery and modular refineries are examples. They must be encouraged by the government to promote competitiveness and disabuse the mind of citizens of anyone having a monopoly.
“Our debt reduction is a must now. The savings that will accrue should be made available for infrastructure development, education, health facilities advancement and power sector improvement which will boost various micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and industries. More job opportunities for all, along with the availability of funds to various sectors and Industries.
“In the longer run, there should be a synergy where the state governments shall cooperate with Mr President by providing succour in various highlighted ways to the downtrodden.’’