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REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY IN NIGERIA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?

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On mass protests:
It is good that the mass protests called by the Labour Unions in Nigeria are properly directed against Nigerian economic saboteurs now unmasked. Particularly those who used to supply tankers of water and collect subsidy from federal government as if they supplied tankers of fuel; those who divert the products imported into Nigeria to neighboring countries, those who collect subsidy for distributing fuel to the North when they end up selling at the Refinery gates! Those pure water Billionaires the repository of corruption and waste in Nigeria ;those heartless people who have built a total of 15 refineries outside their fatherland with a view to selling fuel at exorbitant prices to their country even though they end up getting double value by diverting it to neighbouring countries. These people employ an average of 20, 000 foreign staff for each Refinery making Nigeria to lose 300,000 jobs to foreigners who pay tax to their countries but depend on Nigeria for uninterrupted electricity. This cartel ensures that these neighbouring countries get priority electricity so they can run their refineries without generator and they do it by manipulating government policies. We shall direct these protests against these people and call on government to seize the national assets they privatized into their own hands. With this goal the protest becomes meaningful for what would it benefit us to direct it against an innocent Man,our new President!

On Sponsors of Terrorism
The subsidy removal policy is the only way to fight Boko Haram and all the sponsors of terrorism who tap this easy money provided by the military to distort the economy and give them soft competitive edge. With the so-called subsidy, they bought over the privatized. Institutions and created jobs overseas for oil refining and bunkering at home for cheaper fuel which when refined and resold to Nigerians have no more subsidies. They prosper in the midst of crushing poverty and monopolize trade. Now is the time to flush them and those who depend on this evil empire for success. Youths and innovators will excel!

On Support for Subsidy Removal
Thank you John for supporting this policy, which goes beyond what, we see in the surface. Thank you for the detailed insight for once beaten twice shy. We must be careful not to join in the war declared by Boko Haram for we do not believe Western Education is a taboo as they do. We want to join the Western Cashless society and compete in the globalised market and so we need to remove all subsidies to secure membership. The more you depend on the Military industrial complex and their smokescreen subsidy which translates to real unemployment, educational decay, High prices of cow meat and sponsored religious pilgrimages the removal of subsidy will be painful but those who cherish western education it is liberation from the stranglehold of Un-Godly rule!

On Subsidy Removal as Restructuring Strategy
Subsidy withdrawal is a far-reaching restructuring strategy. It tackles existence of economic distortion in the Nigerian Economy. This country, neither any other, can survive alone in a globalised cashless economy becoming us in the new age. You may subsidize agriculture but not fuel because it has far-reaching negative effect on stratification of society, which is vital for spiritual harmony aside from creating soft money for the smart and privilege people this time the retired Generals who could buy up the privatized institutions. The result is that subsidy money goes into unproductive side of the economy encouraging the production of pure water billionaires like those rated from Nigeria by Forbes. These people are opportunists who end up sponsoring Boko Haram, Hajj, and Sharia with their profits while the majority wallows below 2 dollars a day. What subsidy does to Nigeria is to create an imbalance in the economy allowing everyone to go into bunkering, raising private armies, jetty ownership, private jets and every other endeavour antecedent to it. They build private refineries in foreign countries employing as much as 20000 foreigners while our own refineries remain less competitive going by the subsidy we pay outsiders. It explains why Nigerians have developed the economies of neighbouring African countries where electricity is more stable because it helps to sustain their refineries so they could smuggle in the products or sell to us at high prices thereby requiring higher and higher subsidies. Last year alone Government paid about a quarter of the subsidies since 2006 and by this year was expected to double last years cost. Yet we sink ever deeper and foreign investors stay away. Our suffering is to reform us in our collective ways of living so we depend less on what is inherently a wrong way of living forced upon us by our past rulers.

On Reaching a Common Goal for Protests
Protest is good where you have a goal to achieve and you articulate it and you know that higher authorities with discerning minds are watching. But where the people are not aware of what is happening owing to institutionalized ignorance and poverty protests becomes a way of prolonging the struggle rather than resolving it. Check out what is happening in Egypt where the Islam Brotherhood- apparently shortchanged the democratic movement after takeoff protests leading to indecision as to the end goal: whether it is Islamic rule or democracy. The goal posts were shifting until there was a gulf of power that the military are still filling to date! Beware of whose war you have chosen to fight for you will pay for it at the end! For so long the youths were uneducated and unemployed. Now they want to give their life too for the sake of reversal of fuel subsidy removal yet most of them vow that existence of subsidy never benefits them. It means we want to retain what does not benefit us

On The Stand of the Niger Delta Integrity Group
The Niger Delta Integrity Group is telling the Nigerian youths that removal of fuel subsidy is designed to create jobs for them. Do not be deceived by those who held you in bondage for so long. Beware of whose battle you are being recruited to fight! The youths may be fighting for the sustenance of the cabal who do not want the youths to work.

On The Mandate of Labour:
What labour should do is to make a demand and not try to change government policy for which they are not elected to do! Labour should say Okay Government pay workers double of their salaries from January ending to offset for inflation instead of demanding reversal of policy which is not their work!

On the Place of the President In History:
We have been praying and asking that Nigeria economy be restructured away from waste and corruption; Nigeria’s last chance to stay together and achieve her goals was snatched by President Goodluck Jonathan, with one stroke by Subsidy removal yesterday, and some want to go on Strike!

On The Need to Create Awareness and Shame Ignorance

What we need is more education on what is happening! The fuel subsidy is one way that our military leaders used to keep us down thereby distorting our economy and making us unable to key into the emergent global economy. A section of the country abhors competition and merit and so they sustained it thereby depressing Naira value and making Nigerians only 419 pariahs in global trade. But to be relevant in the global economy you must be competitive. Subsidy is a facade a smokescreen for inefficiency and corruption by the un enlightened who want to rule over the educated! It gives them the room to bunker fuel and refine in foreign countries giving away Nigerian jobs and selling currency at the black market to rule Nigeria while poverty and unemployment reign. We cannot continue to pick crumbs in a table richly laid for us by God! We must learn not to depend on such bait of Boko Haram or we would be subsidizing our slow demise in the hands of an Un-Godly set of people.

On Why Subsidy Removal Is Liberation of Nigerians from Past Bondage

The subsidy issue came from the times of Federal Character, catchment area; educationally disadvantaged and all the jargons introduced by the followers to enable them become the leaders. So is the subsidy it is a smokescreen to confuse you, to rub you of your initiative and rule you as a dependent vassal. The TAM could not work because the people who are making policy are also the bunkerers of oil and owners of Refineries each employing up to 20,000 non Nigerians in neighbouring countries. So removal of subsidy is liberation in disguise. These military industrial complex are sponsoring Boko Haram and Bunkering and they have hijacked organized labour leaderships and privatized Nigeria

On Transformation and Pains
You know more than I do that transformation cannot be painless. Pain with hope is better than pain without hope. Joining the global economy and cashless society will boost merit over mediocrity. The pain arises from long dependence on a system of economy that is unsustainable I'm the new time. So let us face it now. Let us properly differentiate society by restricting movement to those who really should move while others can stay to till the land!

On Survival of the Masses
You will survive better if you learn to do things differently and avoid depending on the current channels of enrichment. When everyone is affected then no one is affected because society has a way of balancing out things. We did not die after the civil war. Is it fuel subsidy removal that will kill us? Must we move to survive?

On Corruption and Legal Loopholes
You are right. I have the same concerns too. As a lawyer you know that it is loopholes in law and implementation that encourages deviant behaviour in society same is true of corruption in the oil sector. Subsidy on petroleum is always wrong and unsustainable. You can subsidize agriculture but not movement. It unbalances an economic system creating a loophole for easy money leading to distortion in the merit system that drives a sustainable society. The building of 15 refineries by Nigerians outside Nigeria to sell fuel to Nigeria is the outcome of such policy unbalance. Nigeria looses 300000 jobs to outsiders.

On The Need to Trust Our Leaders
We must learn to trust our President to act in our best interest. Removal of Petroleum subsidy is in the best interest of transforming this impossible economy which is artificially propped up by cheap fuel which goes into the pocket of few slave masters leaving the Majority without hope or jobs. If we want change this is it!

On Vision for Greater Nigeria
Things have already gone bad in Nigeria decades ago; what we are seeking is a way out. No one knows it all. When you have many ways not well enough under the circumstances you chose the best. Leadership responsibility is to guide not to stop people from what they chose to do. Subsidy removal is the least suffering Nigeria will face to get back to her feet and that is the way I see it within my own limitation of vision. That is why I support it well above others. That is, believing that our collective vision is to get back to our feet!

“Mr. President is deeply touched also by the pains that citizens are going through because of the temporary jump in the prices of petroleum products, as well as of transportation in most parts of the country. Mr.

President therefore called the emergency meeting to expedite action on measures to alleviate these pains which citizens are going through. “He made it very clear that as President of Nigeria, his role is to ensure

that the welfare of Nigerians as well as the growth and development of this country becomes his major goals and that is exactly what he is pursuing. Mr. President therefore told members of council of measures already taken, particularly to address the issue of mass transit in the country, in order to bring down the cost of transport fares as well as to alleviate the pains and discomfort that citizens are facing now.”

“Mr. President urged Nigerians to appreciate the difficulties this nation is going through, particularly in the economy. As FEC, “we are not here to punish Nigerians, we are from the people, we know the discomfort that is going on right now, we totally empathize with Nigerians and we want to reassure the people that the measures that have been taken is for the greater good of the people of Nigeria and citizens”. Nigerians should also watch in the next couple of weeks how government is going to move quickly to implement the various activities from the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme.

Nwokedi Nworisara is a Policy Analyst. [email protected]

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