Why Nigerians Should Support Ending Fuel Subsidies – Onoh


Why Nigerians Should Support Ending Fuel Subsidies: Dr. Josef Onoh, a former spokesman for President Bola Tinubu in the south-east, has warned that Nigeria will be better off when the high cost of domestic spending on oil subsidies is removed and the money is diverted to other sectors of the economy, which is will reflect directly on the lives of lower and middle-class citizens.

He said that even though President Tinubu has not made any official statement for the removal of the controversial oil subsidy, the Nigerian people should look to other nations, particularly in Africa, who were bold enough to remove the huge cost of subsidizing consumption. of foreign oil products that in most cases benefit the rich who have more fleet of cars than the poor citizens who use the public transportation system.

Onoh urged Nigerians and groups preparing to agitate against Bola Tinubu’s new government to be critical and understand that President Tinubu did not remove the oil subsidy himself, but should know that no provision was made. in the 2023 allocation to finance the luxury of subsidizing the import of petroleum products which currently amounts to $867 million or N400 billion each month, for products that are essentially consumed by the upper class or leave the country through smuggling , because the products are cheaper in Nigeria than its neighboring countries.

Onoh cited other African countries that had removed oil subsidies, such as Ghana, which was spending $25.6 million every two weeks on fuel subsidies before the country cut the stranglehold and became free and stable after the former Gold Coast will be released from the subsidy. slavery.

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He also drew a comparison with the Republic of Cameroon, which has removed the oil subsidy and deregulated its markets, adding that even Nigerian pundits such as African Development Bank (ADB) President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina have also prescribed the elimination of the oil subsidy. with its high cost to the Nigerian economy of $10 billion in 2022.

Citing further instances from other African countries that have testified to their progress in removing oil subsidies, Onoh gave the example of Egypt, which in 2019 broke completely with the oppression of subsidies and implemented an economic review template of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). , even when gasoline, diesel and kerosene were selling at 85 to 90 percent of the international cost within Egypt before he completely broke the yoke and freed the country from economic strangulation.

Onoh said that not only Tinubu agreed to remove the oil subsidy, recalling that during the election campaign period and debates, but all the presidential candidates from different political parties also supported the removal of the oil subsidy.

“Ghana removed the subsidy after 30 years, and if you look at the progress and economic stability in Ghana today, Nigerians will know that we cannot continue to subsidize oil at the expense of our economic stability. Both the rich and the poor will face difficulties, but we must look at the profit collected rather than the immediate difficulties.

“There is no other way because we are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. There is no way we can continue to benefit the rich while the poor get poorer. The only way we can have a balanced economy is when even the poor can have access to these basic necessities. In the short term, the removal will cause panic, but the cabals behind the refusal to remove the fuel subsidy are the biggest beneficiaries of that subsidy.

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“So, they will play on the minds of the innocent poor, trying to make it look like the government is against the poor, but the Tinubu administration is eager to balance our economy just as other countries have. We must maintain that trust,” Onoh said.

He noted that the Canadian government, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and other foreign countries will show more confidence in the Nigerian economy.

“But we must also show that we want our economy to grow and that we cannot continue to depend on medium-term measures, riding on the back of a tiger, without thinking that it could also turn around to kill us. So we must support this administration.

“The test of our Progress is not whether we avoid temporarily removing the fuel subsidy for fear of hardship for Nigerians, which in turn will increase the abundance of those who have a lot and are subsidized recipients, but whether the current administration provides enough after elimination for those who have very little,” Onoh encouraged.

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