BREAKING: APC Governors Back Tinubu, Declare Support for Subsidy Removal
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have voiced their support for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to terminate petrol subsidy. POLITICS NIGERIA reports that they affirmed that the Tinubu-led administration is simply fulfilling one of its campaign promises while also assuring that measures will be implemented to alleviate the impact of subsidy withdrawal.
Senator Hope Uzodinma, the newly elected Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and Governor of Imo State made the declaration on Wednesday following a meeting with the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Uzodinma highlighted that both the leading opposition presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), had also pledged to remove the subsidy due to its unsustainable nature.
“As a Forum, we are committed to the ideals of the government, which is also our party. The federal government belongs to the APC; it is an APC-led government, and all the promises made in our party’s manifesto during the campaigns are meant to be fulfilled,” Uzodinma stated.
He further added, “On the issue of fuel subsidy, all the presidential candidates during the campaigns promised that they would remove fuel subsidy. The Buhari government, before leaving office, informed us that fuel subsidy was no longer sustainable. What we are discussing now is the implementation process – how to carry out the program in a way that will minimise the impact on the people, and I believe the government is working on it. I have confidence in the ability of the current president to make decisions that are in the best interest of our people and the country.”
It should be noted that President Tinubu recently confirmed the exclusion of petroleum subsidy from the revised 2023 budget during an address at his inauguration at the Eagle Square in Abuja. He emphasised the redirection of subsidy funds towards vital sectors such as public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and job creation. The announcement sparked widespread reactions nationwide, with various sectors expressing their views on the matter.
Earlier, this newspaper reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited officially announced the new price range for petrol in response to the president’s proclamation. The prices have been set at N488 and N555 per litre at their peak, effectively marking the conclusion of the fuel subsidy era.
Source: Politics Nigeria
Oshiomhole, Others In Aso Rock As FG Meet Labour Leaders
Organised Labour representatives are currently in talks with Federal Government officials at the State House in Abuja, following the announcement of changes to fuel prices and the removal of fuel subsidies. Leading the organised labour delegation are the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Festus Osifo.
The meeting is taking place in the conference room of the Chief of Staff to the President.
Notable attendees include former NLC President and past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Permanent Secretary of the State House, Tijjani Umar, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.
This crucial dialogue comes on the heels of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s announcement that fuel subsidies have been terminated and the NNPC introduction of new prices for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
Naija News had earlier reported that the Labour Union rejected the increment of fuel price by the NNPC, which has stirred reaction across the country.
Source: Naija News
Nationwide chaos, pain as stakeholders seek caution on subsidy removal
All parts of Nigeria – from the East to the West, North to South – were almost grounded to a halt in a jolt reaction to Monday’s President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural address where he declared that ‘petrol subsidy is gone.’ The pronouncement not only threw the country into chaos, but also left the masses and economy on the edge.
However, owing to the bedlam that followed the announcement, which saw pump price of petrol rise to as high as N1,200 per litre in Ebonyi State and about N600 per litre in some states, President Tinubu yesterday, backpedaled over his stand on the removal of fuel subsidy, stating that the decision will not take immediate effect.
The development, which forced the national oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to hold an emergency press conference at midnight of Monday to align with Tinubu’s plan, saw the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) issuing a statement in support of subsidy removal.
NNPCL had said the decision by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on PMS was necessary, as Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mele Kyari, said subsidy removal, which has been a burden on NNPC’s cash flow, would free up funds to enable optimal operations in the company. But the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), which services over 70 per cent of the country, as well as Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), which boasts of 8,000 fuel stations, opposed the move, stressing that proper planning is needed to remove subsidy.
With petrol queues persisting yesterday in major cities and black marketers having a field day, stakeholders have warned that apart from the immediate rising cost of transportation and looming increase in the cost of goods and services, the nation’s 36.9 million small businesses, which equally account for 96.7 per cent of all businesses in the country, could face collapse if the new government mismanages the fuel subsidy removal. Already, state governors are threatening to withdraw Certificates of Occupancy (Cs-of-O) of petrol marketers, who may be hoarding PMS.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has also rejected subsidy removal, even as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) insisted that refineries must be in order before the current administration considers subsidy removal. A statement by the President’s team, said Tinubu’s declaration, “subsidy is gone” was “merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.”
According to the statement, the Federal Government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination, adding that the panic buying that ensued as a result of the communication was needless. The president said the removal would not take immediate effect. For years, fuel subsidies, introduced in the 80s as Nigeria started derailing on local refining, gradually established itself and like a parasite, benefited politicians until it became the biggest pest eroding the wealth of the country.
In the last eight years under former President, Muhammadu Buhari, about N17.5 trillion was spent on fuel subsidies, while N10.5 trillion out of the total spending happened in the last 18 months of the administration. National President of PETROAN, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, told The Guardian yesterday that removing subsidy without adequate planning would compound the challenges already faced by the masses.
According to him, NNPC and Dangote Refineries ought to be running before the Federal Government goes ahead with the plan to remove subsidies, adding that without a countrywide and industry-focused stakeholders’ engagement, the removal would backfire. Gillis-Harry noted that the removal of subsidy would hit Nigerians harder, adding however that the announcement didn’t come to him as a surprise.