…urge Nigerians to endure momentary pains
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
A good governance and anti-corruption advocacy organisation,Youth Advocates Network (YAPJEN) has commended the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the removal of petroleum subsidy and it’s resolve to channel the funds to the building, upgrading and developing of infrastructure, improving education and health care delivery in Nigeria.
The group said that removal of subsidy will enable the government to channel Nigeria’s resources towards programme projects and infrastructure that will engander the achievement of the United Nations Global Goals.
The Executive Director, YAPJEN, Timothy Nwachukwu in a statement described the Fuel subsidy as a policy of previous government which was intended to assist the citizens to pay less as pump price per litre of petroleum product but unfortunately, turned to become a conduit pipe of corruption through which the collective wealth of the state was siphoned and unaccounted for.
He said that the citizens continued to pay a higher cost of petroleum products while available records as provided by NEITI revealed that Nigeria spent over N13 trillion ($74 billion) on fuel subsidies between 2005 and 2021.
Nwachukwu stated that despite generating billions of dollars in oil revenue, Nigeria has been unable to translate it into an improved welfare condition for the citizens while fuel subsidy created leeway for the criminally- minded elite to squander the commonwealth while successive governments demonstrated little or no political will to stem the decay in the oil sector, as underlined by the reluctance to prosecute oil thieves, some of whom are directly or indirectly connected to the apparatus of the state.
He further blamed corruption, inefficiencies, smuggling mismanagement, abuse of national monopoly powers and excessive subsidizing the supply of refined crude oil products in the country as the reason for the intractable economic development that has worsened the plight of ordinary Nigerians.
The Director of YAPJEN appealed to Nigerians to endure the momentarily pain occasioned by the removal of subsidy as private Refineries like the Dangote and other modular Refineries across the country will bridge the gap in meeting the ever increasing local demand of petroleum products and for exportation purposes.
Nwachukwu however called on President Tinubu to strengthen the fight against corruption and establish a regulatory framework to protect citizens as necessary measures to help improve the poor state of Nigeria’s economy.