Tackle Corruption, not Fuel Subsidy
As the controversy continues to rage over the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government, an industrialist, Chief Emeka Diwe, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle corruption in the petroleum sector, rather than removing the subsidy.
According to him, President Jonathan should tackle corruption and not fuel subsidy. Corruption is the only factor militating against the working of our refineries, the welfare of the common man and the capacity to address the poor state of infrastructure in Nigeria. The removal of fuel subsidy will create a negative impact on the lives of the people.
“I advocate for a better management of Nigeria's wealth. The only way to do this is by tackling corruption. Even if you remove fuel subsidy for 100 times, Nigeria will still be turning round and round without making any headway. Corruption is a cankerworm, let the President fight to reduce it to the barest minimum, plug all the loopholes where funds are looted by the people in government, he will discover that we don't need the removal of fuel subsidy to turn the economy.
“Where is the windfall which we have always gained from our crude oil sales? Has the price of oil, not always gone higher than our budgeted benchmarks? Address corruption, secrecy and wastages in government, he will see that everything would fall in line.”
Diwe further posited that there are dangers in the proposal.”The so called gains are not worth the trouble the removal will cause to the people. It will lead to what i chose to call a retaliatory method of increasing prices of goods and services, where the transporter will say, oh, the price of fuel has gone up, my fares are now increased, the shoe seller will say, I'm increasing the price of my shoe from N1,000 to N2,000, it will be vicious circle. All these will be detrimental to the economy.
” The removal of fuel subsidy will bring serious hardship to the masses. If the subsidy is removed, it will lead to an increase in the pump price of fuel. The multiplier effects of this increase will bring a dislocation on the economy of the local people. The determination of fuel prices by market forces will cause more harm, this is because in Nigeria, prices of goods and services keep going up and up, they hardly come down.”
Rather than touching fuel subsidy, he suggested that the government should look at less sensitive areas. It does make sense to introduce policies which will inflict more harm to the already impoverished populace, he concluded.