Ordinarily, the removal of energy subsidy such as petrol, kerosene, diesel and electricity is supposed to free up billions of naira for government to inject into other social and economic areas like education, health, infrastructure development, as well as fix Nigeria’s four refineries to stop the country from importing petroleum products and create jobs..….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>
But this has not been the case as fuel subsidy removal has done more harm than good; It has led to economic stagnation, rising inflation, mass poverty, rising crime, increase the prices of petroleum products and loss of jobs in the informal sector.
Since petrol subsidy was removed on May 29, 2023 during the inauguration speech of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the entire economy has been thrown into crisis. The situation is like removing the livewire of a sick person on life support. The unemployment rate in the country has worsened.
Thousands of tricycle and bike operators have parked up due to their inability to buy patrol at the huge price, the cost of transportation has quadrupled. Traders, market women and even farmers have given up on their trade.
The negative impact of fuel subsidy can not just be over-emphasised as the removal vary across different income groups, with lower income individuals and families potentially facing more significant challenges due to the high fuel cost.
The truth of the matter is that with mass poverty, millions of poor people can’t eat one meal a day, many who are sick in our malaria endemic environment can’t afford to buy the commonest anti- malarial drugs. There is high mortality rate in the population arising from hardship. Criminality is on the rise as it appears to be the only way out.
Although, the government’s plan to give palliatives to citizens to cushion the effect of subsidy removal has not been seen yet, and the Tinubu’s proposing to pay N8,000 to a section of the population per household can never be enough as there is mass discontent over the amount which can hardly buy anything in the market, given the skyrocketing prices of goods and services today.
It is absolutely wrong for Nigeria to join the developed nations, which have stable, more productive and better managed economies, to remove subsidy. This is because the government needs to understand that the only thing the citizenry enjoys is fuel subsidy.
I, therefore, appeal to President Tinubu to bring back our fuel subsidy without further delay.….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>
Fatima Abubakar Maidugu,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri