New Pump Price: Naija How Market?
President Muhammadu Buhari may have irreversible, unapologetic, unrepentant position against treasury looters, but that appears to be what he is very good at and we love him for that. But we also need a president that can balance properly between correcting impunity, establishing trust, maintaining strategic economic recovery focus.
A president with people based agenda, interesting priority aimed at alleviating the plight of hapless Nigerians has suddenly shifted position in a full circle direction reminiscent of the government they removed. The question on the minds of incredulous Nigerians is “who has bewitched our dear Peoples President on this fuel hike gaffe”.
If the fuel hike is blamed on so many economic realities including dollar exchange rate, cost of importation of products, then what happens once our refineries commence optimum production with much lower components and production costs?
The government thinks it must get the subsidy off, then why peg it at N145 per liter, why not leave the market forces to determine the price? It is indeed wrong for government to remove subsidy and at the same time peg official price. It only leaves Nigerians at the mercy of marketers who can opt for higher price. After all, official government pump price is always different from what consumers get in filling stations. Already some filling stations in Abuja are selling petroleum product at N165.
If the All Progressive Congress (APC) is substantiating the current fuel hike under any disguise four years after they occupied Nigeria for same decision by former President Goodluck Jonathan, then the party, our dear president owe the ex-president an unreserved apology.
There are substantiated reasons why subsidy will have to be removed. It is a known fact that a few are frolicking on government subsidy, but let the truth be told, a hike under the present economic reality really speaks volume on how poorly this present administration is faring in managing affairs of governance, trusted on them by Nigerians.
Regardless of party platform, ethnic or religious underpinning, it must be borne in mind that the APC led government is indeed taking Nigerians for granted. The popular mandate freely given to Buhari is being squandered on the alter of impunity, cluelessness by those most Nigerians believed should know better than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) “locust years” era.
Hypocrisy, sycophancy, ethno-religious sentiments have blown the PMB led administration to a windstorm of rudderless administration voyage. Most people who should know better are either too blinded to see the more than frequent gaffes of the present administration, or too defeated by the unwavering antics of platoon of hypnotized supporters to coast the ship of our dear nation to safe harbor
Based on the floodgate of overdose of support unleashed on Buhari, he is surrounded by worshippers cursed with Ahithophellian counsel reversal which is fast marooning the president. Alas it is not out of order to impugn that our “Peoples President” is trapped. Good intention, good understanding of catching criminals but gasping for life support on managing the economy.
While Buhari and others were tenaciously “Wailing Wailers” during President Jonathans era, the counsel on the way forward was wrapped around the followings: “Reduce the price of fuel to N45/per liter, One refinery every year, stabilize global oil price at $100 per barrel, stop importation of petroleum products”. Why is it not surprising that all these are lost under the “Sai Baba, Sai Changi” uproar?
What shall it profit the present administration to repatriate funds, yet sink and stink from odoriferous economic policy summersault? What is that urgent economic import of a fuel hike when in the short term, Nigerians based on the ugly economic reality cannot survive until the projected six months when petroleum prices will “stabilize”.
It is indeed safe to insist that the only change so far experience in the APC led administration only exists in the realm of fighting corruption which by the way is limited largely to those are politicians under the platform of the PDP. Miraculously, those who presided over corrupt practices are with PMB, comfortably presiding over affairs of a nation they raped mercilessly. They are indeed sacred on account of support they offered in the last general election.
Regardless of the nauseating support of those queuing behind PMB on the ongoing policy inconsistencies, Nigerian economy is crashing faster on an abysmal plunge, fragmented interests reaching an abysmal height and the nation on full economic, political and social reverse gear.
There is no need to be boxed up in foolish cocoon wrapped around political, ethnic or religious sentiments. Whether you are a wailing wailer or hailing hailer, the same pump price applies. It is therefore time to throw away senseless concrete political jungles separating us. We must assert against this hike to rescue our nation from despondency occasioned by a decision taken at the wrong time.
Written by Israel A. Ebije.