New Nigeria government cautioned over fuel subsidy


Former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who seem to be waving goodbye. Photo by Bashir Ahmad on Twitter

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has got off on the wrong foot with the umbrella organisation of political parties in Nigeria following the petrol subsidy removal.

The umbrella body, called the Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has urged the Federal Government to exercise caution on the issue.

James Ezema, CNPP Deputy National Publicity SecretarY, said Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressive Congress-led government had continued its “anti-people agenda”, thereby worsening the suffering of the Nigerian masses.

According to the CNPP, the president’s recent tweet after his “subsidy is gone” inaugural declaration created the impression that the implementation of subsidy removal will commence at the end of June, yet the policy has taken immediate effect.

“The CNPP is therefore disturbed that without any cushioning scheme to mitigate the negative impact of the policy on the masses, the Federal Government has gone ahead to increase pump price of petrol nationwide,” Ezema said.

“As desirable as subsidy removal on petrol may be, a government that has the masses at heart would have first put in place intervention programmes to ensure that Nigerians do not continue to suffer unduly,” he continued.

Ezema said for instance, a total rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries or construction of new ones and introduction of subsidised mass transportation schemes as well as improvement on the nation’s railway system are some intervention schemes that should be in place before the total deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

“We therefore call on President Tinubu to reconsider the timing of his full implementation of the subsidy removal policy to first put in place measures that would reduce the burden of the policy on already impoverished masses of the country.”

“With the unprecedented poverty and job losses in the last eight years of the previous APC administration, it may be catastrophic to increase the suffering of the masses without commensurate measures to enhance the welfare of the ordinary citizens.”

Tinubu assumed office on Monday, succeeding Buhari who served two terms at the helm of Africa’s leading oil producer.

Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 polls is subject to a legal challenge by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP).

– CAJ News
































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