- Nigerians have been advised to be in tandem with the policy direction of the federal government in respect of the issue of fuel subsidy removal
- The advice was given by civil society and professional groups based in the Federal Capita;l Territory, Abuja
- The groups stated that with the underlying reasons given for subsidy removal by the government, the policy will ensure the delivery of democratic dividends to Nigerians
FCT, Abuja - A group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and professionals drawn from the various parts of the country have insisted on the removal of fuel subsidy, saying that the regime was partly responsible for the economic woes of the country.
The group in a communique after a one-day national town hall meeting in Abuja attended by a Legit.ng reporter on Monday, January 10 stated that the fuel subsidy which has existed for decades has been without transparency and accountability.
According to the group, the development has caused the federal government to spend a whopping sum of N250 billion monthly.
The communique which was signed by the national chairman of the group, Isah Abubakar, and secretary, Joe Moses, argued that the removal of the fuel subsidy regime as planned would facilitate the implementation of the 2022 national budget of N17.13 trillion.
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Part of the communique read:
“The coalition of Civil Society Organisations and professionals drawn from various parts of the country met on Sunday, January 9, 2022, for a National Town Hall Meeting on Removal of Petroleum Subsidy.
“The National Town Hall Meeting on Removal of Petroleum Subsidy has observed that the petroleum subsidy regime which has existed for decades has been without transparency, credibility and accountability in the process leading to payments of claims to the so-called beneficiaries of the arrangement.
“The town hall meeting observed that the monthly payment of over N250 billion monthly has done serious damage to the economy and for decades, the financial burden has retarded the growth and development of the country and if the trend is not reversed, it would continue to degenerate the nation's revenue until the economy would have been irrevocably damaged.”
The CSOs noted that the subsidy was responsible for fuel smuggling across the borders, arguing that, if it is ended, the smuggling challenge would reduce.
The meeting also noted and commended the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited for the construction of 28 Federal Roads across the Federation, adding that roads are critical infrastructure to enhance the economic development of the country.
While it commended the NNPC management for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, the group urged continuous reforms to reposition the oil and gas industry as one of the best in the world.
FG insists on fuel subsidy removal as Osinbajo panel set to meet NLC over transport palliative, others
They also urged the federal government to ensure maintenance and rehabilitation of the government refineries in order to meet the local fuel consumption in the country.
On the palliative promised by government, the group tasked the Buhari administration to ensure payment to citizens, saying that it will cushion the effect of the subsidy removal, while they also urged the Nigeria Labour Congress not to embark on an industrial strike, but to allow dialogue.
Forum of CSOs endorse removal of fuel subsidy by government
Recall that the forum of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria on Thursday, December 2, 2021, rose up from an extraordinary meeting and backed the federal government's plan for fuel subsidy removal.
The leaders of the group resolved to comprehensively and compositely support the Buhari administration on the move, adding that the policy will take Nigeria to the realm of fulfilled potentialities.
A communique was released after the meeting signed by Comrade Friday Maduka, chairman, Forum of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria.
NNPC contracts Innoson to provide buses for Nigerians
Meanwhile, the NNPC has contracted Innoson Vehicle Motors to produce Condensed Natural Gas city buses to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal next year.
The chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, revealed this to journalists recently in Nnewi, Anambra state.
The Nigerian government had unveiled plans to sponsor the conversion of one million cars to run on gas with Kyari announcing in December 2020 that the ministry of petroleum will provide the structure for the free conversion services to enable automobiles to switch from fuel to gas.