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TSAV CONDEMNS FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL

By NBF News
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Socio critic and former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav (Retd.) has described as unreasonable, plans by the Goodluck Jonathan's federal government to remove fuel subsidy as from January 2012 and called on all Nigerians to resist it. Tsav who was speaking to Daily Sun in his Makurdi residence at the weekend however urged Government to divert its attention elsewhere and not on removing fuel subsidy because that will create more problems for the ordinary people.

The human rights crusader insisted that not even the new increase in national minimum wage, which many state governments are still struggling to pay could assuage the biting effect of the fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian masses who would have to pay through the nose to buy everything.

'As far as I am concerned it would be very unreasonable for them to do a thing like that because they have just raised the basic salary of workers and state governments are unable to pay. In fact some have refused to pay. And even if they pay this increase, with the removal of fuel subsidy, the increase would mean nothing.' 'We all know that as soon as you remove the subsidy, prices would rise. First of all, fares will increase; spare parts will do the same because these vehicles go to the hinterlands to carry foodstuffs to cities. Invariably this will go to all aspects of our livelihood. It would not be good at all because the increase will mean nothing.'

He maintained that the argument that the federal government pays about N600 billion as subsidy was unfounded stressing that talks about every Nigerian benefitting from the fuel subsidy if removed was just to get Nigerians to endorse the removal.

'How can they benefit? If there is general increase in transportation fares, it will affect everybody whether you are a worker or not. Somebody coming from anywhere would pay an increase. So how would that affect you? We know that politicians have stolen a lot of money outside the subsidy. Why can't government concentrate on these people who have stolen our money and recover these monies from them instead of trying to punish us?'

Tsav noted that in other countries of the world where they produce fuel like in Saudi Arabia, fuel cost is very cheap but lamented that in Nigeria, because people are greedy and want to make money by all means, they make things difficult for all.

'The type of problem we have in this country is artificial because if our refineries are working and we can refine this fuel here in Nigeria, it will cost less. So, what government should do is to try and repair our refineries, make them functional and refine fuel here instead of taking it outside to refine and bring it back.'