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Removal Of Fuel Subsidy: FG Plans Mass Enlightenment Of Nigerians

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As the protest against the plan by the federal government to deregulate the country's petroleum downstream sector and the eventual removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit, known as petrol, rages on, has learnt that the government,

through its National Council on Information (NCI) is preparing a massive campaign and enlightenment strategy to get Nigerians to buy into the move.

As a result, the NCI has set up a committee to fashion out strategies to carry out its planned action with the aim of educating the people on what they hope to benefit from the action of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government.

The setting up of the Committee and its mandate to address every issue relating to the controversial removal of fuel subsidy is contained in a communique issued at the end of the Council's 42nd meeting held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital and attended by 417 delegates from 33 states and the FCT.

In order to get Nigerians to be more favourably attracted to governance in the country, the Council, in the communique, recommended that a good governance media assessment tour be initiated to relay activities of government at all levels to Nigerians. For this purpose, it mandated the Federal Ministry of Information to draw up a time-table and a work plan for the proposed initiative.

While the Council resolved that SERVICOM be made part of the National Policy on Information, it sought a constitutional amendment to empower the National Broadcasting Corporation to collect radio and television fees from the public on behalf of public broadcasters. It promised to send a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to urge it to initiate an executive bill on the issue.

The Council called on states to improve their funding of the digitisation programmes in order that the country would meet the deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to migrate from analogue broadcast to digital broadcast by 2012 and further advised that mass education and enlightenment be carried out on the Freedom of Information Act recently passed by the President. It called on states to intensify their respective campaigns on peace and security.

The committee for the enlightenment on removal of fuel subsidy is made up of members from Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Cross River, Oyo, Ondo, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Sokoto and Kano states respectively, while the 43rd session of the council has been scheduled for Osun State in September 2012.