COMMITTEE ON OIL WINDFALL' LL CREATE NEW EXPLOITERS, SAYS DON
A university don, Dr. Maurice Coker, has described the presidential committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to manage the proceeds of the oil subsidy windfall as another emergence of new class of exploiters in the economy.
Coker, the former head of Department of Political Science, told Daily Sun in an interview in Calabar, Cross River State, that in the past the Federal Government had set up such committees and they had always been constituted of the same people in government and those who created the condition so that they would have reasons to continue subsidising to benefit their interest.
'That is not the first time they have said they will cushion the effect of the removal of oil subsidy. Abacha said that, even then, Babangida said it, those committees were set up including the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), it ended into the pockets of committee members.
'Members of the committee are still Nigerians and even when the president is emphasising delivery of services to Nigerians, this same new class of exploiters will always find a way to circumvent whatever gains that are expected to accrue to the masses as was the case before now.'
He lamented that the Federal Government was focusing too much attention on oil to the detriment of other sectors of the economy that would have created positive impact on the Nigerian people as was the case of the cocoa and groundnut pyramid boom in the country.
According to the University of Calabar lecturer, 'it is unfortunate that those in public office do not want to work in the interest of the people as most of the policies of government are anti-people oriented meant to enhance the well-being of the political class instead of the people.'
He stressed that 'the same refineries put up for sale by the government were made moribund by the same people in power; they gave the impression that the refineries were unworkable, the people sold them to themselves in order to push forward the agenda for the removal of oil subsidy.'
Berating those pushing forward the agenda for the removal of oil subsidy, he maintained that there was a game plan to ensure that the country's refineries would not attain their full capacity to protect their particular interest.