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A Coalition of CSOs Hails President Jonathan on Subsidy Removal

By Agreen Nembe

Gears up for Pro-Government Protest on Monday 9th Jan. 2012

A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations led by the Niger Delta Integrity Group and the Niger Delta Coalition for Good Government rose from an emergency meeting on Friday, 6th of January, 2012 in Benin City – Edo State. The Coalition deliberated exhaustively on the policy of subsidy removal.

In a statement made available to newsmen, the Vice President of the Coalition, Dr. Theophilus Ebikibena said the benefits of subsidy removal far outweigh the dis-benefits. Some of the anticipated benefits according to the Coalition include: curbing the endemic corruption in the Petroleum industry, job creation for the teeming youths and graduates, provision of physical infrastructure such as roads and attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Other related benefits according to the Coalition include the efficient delivery of essential social services such as healthcare service delivery, quality education power supply and better income distribution. The COALITION believes that the re-investment of the subsidy money will reduce poverty and minimize the misery index in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Coalition, who is also the Deputy President of the Niger Delta Integrity Group, Comrade John Idumange castigated the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Nigerian Bar Association and their affiliates for overheating the polity by calling for a nation-wide strike adding that names of beneficiaries of the subsidy has been known and rather than direct public anger at these people, they are insisting on a protest that is uncalled for. “It is regrettable that, Nigerians now known the people benefiting from the subsidy and instead of protesting against the business interested of the people, they are threatening to shut down Nigeria, he said!

The COALITION hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for making this fundamental decision designed to restructure the economy and placing Nigeria on the map of nations that will catch-up with the Asian Tigers. The coalition promised to mobilize progressive minded Nigerian, youth Groups Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and CBOs including women Group to embark on a pro-government protest to let Nigerians know that the decision of President Jonathan on subsidy removal is in the best interest of the Nigerian masses. This is necessary to enable the Federal Government vigorously pursue the transformation agenda to its logical conclusion, the Coalition said. At the last count about 4 million people in the South-South have signed up for the pro-government protest on Monday.

The Coalition asserted that subsidy removal policy is fundamental, appropriate and timely because in the past Nigeria was subsidizing INEFFICIENCY and WASTE. I had said earlier that the subsidy removal policy is like a cancer. Successive administrations allowed the cancer to spread for a very long time but President Jonathan has resolved to cut it off to stop its spread. Only during the Obasanjo era, the pump price of Petrol increased from N11 to N65 per litre, we saw about 500% increases in the pump price of petroleum products but the increase did not bring about fundamental restructuring of the industry. The criminal cabal who benefited from the subsidy regime continued to benefit. The Coalition took a swipe at the NLC for not facing the realities of our economic situation, arguing that when a handful of people short-change the nation for their personal gains, they are metaphorically eating up the future of generations yet unborn. The Coalition urged the anti-government protesters to direct their actions against those who benefited from the subsidy regime and not the Federal Government.

The full list, and their individual haul, as read out by Senator Abe, is as follows:

1. Oando Nigerian Plc. – N228.506 billion
2. MRS –N224.818 billion
3. Pinnacle Construction-N300 billion
4. Enak Oil & Gas –N19.684 billion
5. CONOIl – N37.960 billion
6. Bovas & Co. Nig. Ltd. – N5.685 billion,
7. Obat N85 billion and
8. AP; N104.5billion.
9. Folawiyo Oil - N113.3 billion
10. ACON - N24.1billion
11. Atio Oil-N64.4billion
12. AMP- N11.4billion
13. Honeywell-N12.2billion
14. Emac Oil- N19.2billion
15. D.Jones Oil-N14.8billion;
16. Capital Oil - N22.4 billion
17. AZ Oil- N18.613billion
18. Eterna oil- N5.57 billion
19. Dozil oil- N3.375 billion
20. Fort oil-N8.582 billion.
21. Integrated Oil and Gas- N30.777 billion
22. DownStream Energy,
23. N789.648 million; Dosil Oil and Gas,
24. N3.375 billion; Inco Ray, N1.988 billion;

25. Eternal, N5.574 billion;
26. Folawiyo Energy, N113.32 billion;
27. Frado International, N2.63 billion;
28. First Deepwater Oil, N257.396 million;
29. Heden Petrol, N693 million;
30. Honeywell Petrol, N12.2 billion;
31. Integrated oil, N30.777billion;
32. AMP, N11.417 billion;
33. Ascon, N5.271 billion;
34. Channel Oil, N1.308 billion;
35. Fort Oil, N8.582 billion;
36. Enak Oil & Gas, N19.684 billion;
37. IPMAN Investment Limited, N10.9 billion;

38. Atio Oil, N64.4billion; AMP, N11.4billion;

39. Emac Oil, N19.2billion.
40. IPMAN Investment Limited- N10.9billion
NONE OF THESE OIL COMPANIES BELONGS TO PRESIDENT JONATHAN. IT is now obvious that what the Federal Government has done is to restructure the Petroleum Industry and by extension the overall economy. Those who benefit from the subsidy regime neither contribute to the vitality of the economy nor create jobs for the unemployed people. While most people agree that the period of stakeholders' consultation was not enough, the time for the removal of subsidy is apt and timeous. With the subsidy re-investment Committee in place led by renowned technocrats, there is immense hope that the resources from subsidy would be used to fix our ailing infrastructure and enhance the delivery of essential social services.

Theophilus Ebikibena Phd.
IDUMANGE John
is Fellow, Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats - City of London