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Protesters Storm National Assembly to Show Support for President Bola Tinubu’s Fuel Subsidy Removal Policy

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Fuel Subsidy
Fuel Subsidy

By Uche Amunike

Protesters in support of President Bola Tinubu’s fuel subsidy removal policy, Thursday, caused a stir at the National Assembly ‘s main entrance, as they tried to show their solidarity towards the policy, with claims that he did the right by removing the cankerworm which has eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian economy.

Recall that on May 29, President Bola Tinubu declared during his inaugural speech, that there was no longer a fuel subsidy regime because the current budget for 2023 did not make provision for it.

In a recent development, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and other oil marketers raised the price of petrol from N537 per litre to N617/N630 per litre, raising concerns in the country, nationwide.

Speaking, during the protest, the convener of the group, Stand Up Nigeria, Sunday Attah, stated that the Tinubu administration did the right thing and should be given support in order for his government to deliver on the dividends of democracy.  He noted that when the president announced the subsidy removal,  during his inauguration, it came with mixed feelings. Some people lauded it as appropriate and timely, while others expressed their reservation that it might bring about hardship to the citizens of Nigeria.

He, however, noted that the president introduced that policy on the premise that there was no provision for subsidy payments in the 2023 budget which makes it difficult to be sustained.

He stated: ‘Apart from that, the country was bleeding seriously through many leakages occasioned by corruption in high places chiefly among which are the claims on subsidy payments to many firms.’

‘After observing the initial reaction to the measure and the attendant panic buying and other impacts on the socio-economic life of Nigerians, we wish to state that the President has done the right thing by removing the subsidy as the advantages of doing so outweigh the disadvantages.’

‘We have observed that the initial hiccups of long queues at the fuel stations have disappeared while access to petroleum products has become easier and guaranteed as people can now drive into filling stations and refill their tanks without wasting unnecessary man hours on queues.’

Attah justified the subsidy removal by drawing attention to the problem of fuel scarcity and the resultant effect of hardship it has brought to Nigerians,  claiming that it has been solved  and a majority of Nigerians can now move on to other productive engagements.

He further stated: ‘The opposition and those elements opposed to the measure should know that election is over and all hands must be on deck to support the government to do what is right and in the interest of the people of the country.’

‘Past administrations have attempted to remove fuel subsidies but have not been successful due to opposition on the wrong belief that the implication of subsidy removal is just the increase in the price of fuel.’

‘There was also the suspicion that the proceeds made from the removal will be embezzled and the gains will not get to the intended beneficiaries.’

He maintained that President Bola Tinubu has shown great integrity by using the funds for the development of the country and announced some palliatives that will cushion the effects of the hike in fuel price, assuring that there will be other measures that will make Nigerians understand the reasons for the increase in the price of petroleum products as a means to make sacrifices towards   the growth of the economy. He added by the time the funds from the subsidy removal is channeled to the economy and every sector begins to undergo growth, Nigerians will begin to appreciate the positive effects of subsidy removal.

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