Reactions Trail Subsidy Removal: ERA Rejects Petrol Price Hike
… Says Fuel Subsidy Removal Is Scandalous, Unacceptable, ERA insists
SAN FRNCISCO, January 01, (THEWILL) - The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has flayed the Federal Government’s removal of the so-called subsidy on petroleum products with effect from January 1, 2012, describing the decision as “complete insensitivity” to the articulated views of the Nigerian masses who insist the way to go is to fight corruption in the sector and to make the nation’s ailing refineries work.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, had announced the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) on January 1, 2012, claiming the decision was informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders across the nation.
It also said that in the coming weeks, it will work with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and engage stakeholders in further consultation to ensure the continuation of the exercise.
But in a statement denouncing the government move, ERA/FoEN insisted that the “sham” which the PPPRA dubbed national consultation on which it based the decision to remove the so-called subsidy was a crude smokescreen to usher in a new era of impoverishment for Nigerians.
“This New Year slap on the faces of Nigerians is totally objectionable and smacks of insensitivity to the genuine needs of the Nigerian masses. It shows a government that would rather punish the poor than confront the cabal they say exists in the petroleum sector," said ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey.
“This policy is an additional burden on already disillusioned poor Nigerians. It is astonishing the same administration that is yet to implement recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Assessment of Ogoniland five months after, or independently verify spills like in the case of Shell’s spill from the Bonga facility, could act so swiftly and cunningly to choke an already gasping people.”
Countering government’s argument that the central purse subsidises the cost of petroleum products import, Bassey insisted that, on the contrary, it is community people living side-by-side the oil fields and the Nigerian environment that actually subsidize the cost of crude and refined products.
Bassey noted that: “Enough is enough! The poor and the environment have sufficiently subsidised resource corruption and through environmental impacts and loss of livelihoods. 99% of the population is again being forced to bear the brunt of corrupt practices enjoyed by the 1%.
“We reiterate our rejection of this wicked New Year gift to Nigerians by a government which appears bent is on pleasing the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and other international agencies whose cronies are embedded in the administration. We demand an immediate reversal of the policy,” Bassey insisted.
REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY: FG’s DECLARATION OF WAR ON THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE!
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has noted, with much concern, the implementation of the fuel subsidy removal by the PDP-led Federal Government. This comes on the heels of the decision not to provide for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget awaiting the assent of the National Assembly.
What is bewildering, however, is that a regime that pretends to derive its legitimacy from the people is implementing a policy that obviates the need for the assent of the People’s representatives. This is a clear mutation towards fascism and declaration of war on the Nigerian people!
The PDP-led Federal Government, having tied this utterly insensitive policy to the budgetary provision, has with hubris and much scorn of the people, embarked on its implementation before the necessary assent of the National Assembly.
It is our view that this PDP-led regime did the same damage to the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria by spending above N1.3 Trillion Naira as against the N2 Billion Naira provided for and appropriated in the 2011 fiscal year.
It is our considered view that this decided action of the Federal Government is not only traitorous, but very callous desire to hurt the Nigerian people, while pandering to the imperialistic intervention of foreign interest. Undoubtedly, this latest decision clearly negates the provision of Section 14(2b) which declares that: “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
God bless Nigeria.
Rotimi Fashakin (Engr.)
National Publicity Secretary, CPC.