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Removal of fuel subsidy will worsen Nigeria’s woes – Abdulsalami Abubakar

SILIVALLY / / Removal of fuel subsidy will worsen Nigeria’s woes – Abdulsalami Abubakar (7 Views)

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Removal of fuel subsidy will worsen Nigeria’s woes – Abdulsalami Abubakar by : 1:50 pm On January 21, 2022

Mr Abubakar says removing the fuel subsidy will push millions of Nigerians into poverty.

Former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has cautioned the federal government against removing fuel subsidy, saying it would throw Nigerians into more economic hardship.

Mr Abubakar spoke at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday with the theme “2023: The Politics, Economy, and Insecurity.”

The federal government in November 2021 disclosed its plan to remove fuel subsidy in the second half of 2022.

If the government forges ahead with the plan, Nigerians may pay between N320 and N340 for a litre of fuel, experts say. This could be more than twice the current price.

The former Nigerian leader, who was the chairman of the occasion, asked the government to bury the idea because the current insecurity in the country had been worsened by the harsh economic situation.

“Insecurity in the country is worsened by our dear economic situation. Unemployment and underemployment remain at a high level. Over 18 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty. All of these tend to have negative effects on security. In fact, Nigeria now faces a full security crisis that is confounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.

“Most of these have disrupted the final value chain across the country and negatively impacted the ability of Nigeria to produce, process, and distribute.

“There is a continuous rise in the prices of food items beyond the reach of many Nigerians. On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November. We all know that when this happens, it will push many millions of Nigerians into poverty,” he said.

Mr Abubakar lamented the nation’s security challenges, saying Nigeria is once again at crossroads.

”Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is once again at crossroads. Insecurity remains the single, most difficult challenge for the country. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, banditry in the North-west, violence in the South-east, kidnappings and abductions of travellers across many states all continue to fester in the land.

“In addition to these, ethnic, communal and religious conflicts are rearing their head again in many parts of the country. All of these have greatly challenged and overstretched our security forces. This has caused thousands of deaths and millions of internally displaced persons in the country over the past years,” he said.

Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, who was a guest speaker at the event, traced the genesis of Nigeria’s state to the abysmal attitude of governors to education and infrastructural deficits.

He said just as many would heap the blame on the government at the centre, the country’s security challenges are spillovers from other issues that its leaders, across party lines, are not addressing properly.

“The major problem we are having in Nigeria is corruption, whether we like it or not. Most of the fundings meant to provide services to the people are channeled to the melting purse of torturous bureaucratic ministerial and departmental system. Unless we change this attitude of accumulating huge amounts of wealth, something we can’t even eat or consume.

“The only way we can fight insecurity is by becoming resilient enough. If we are not resilient enough, you can’t provide security,” Mr Zulum said.

As important as the 2023 General Election seems to the country, Mr Zulum said the selection of leaders should be based on credibility and ability irrespective of ethno-religious or political affiliations.

We need more well-meaning Nigerians in politics – Sultan of Sokoto.

Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, in his remarks suggested that the country’s leadership space is “rusty because well-meaning Nigerians are shying away from politics.”

He said the development of the nation is too important to be left at the mercy of politicians alone.

“Let’s close ranks and come together to see what we can do to move this country forward in peace and prosperity.

“I am one of those who so much believe in dialogue and I believe there cannot be too many dialogue sessions not only in this country but across the world because people see us everywhere talking to one another. That is the best way of resolving issues,” the monarch said.

Also, the spokesman of the Northern Elders’ Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, argued that Nigeria does not need an ethnic president but a leader for all.

“One of the worst things you can do is to create huge additional anger around the cost of living, the cost of fuel, cost of prices, pushing the citizen into more depression and you want to have elections just a few months after?” Mr Baba-Ahmed posed during a three-member panel discussion moderated by a veteran journalist, Kadaria Ahmed.


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