Nigerians react to federal government’s planned fuel subsidy removal

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Nigerians in Osun State have started to react to the removal of subsidy from petroleum products as announced last week by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government had last week announced the impending removal of the subsidy and promised to replace the removal with a monthly payment of N5,000 transport allowance to 40 million poor Nigerians.

The federal government had revealed that the subsidy removal would commence in 2022.

A social commentator, Afolabi Isaac, said the timing of the subsidy removal was wrong and the decision to grant poor Nigerians N5,000 in these hard times was an attempt to buy their silence.

Afolabi warned that if the federal government went ahead to implement it, civil society organisations were going to reject it and that would mean a call for civil disobedience.

He noted that the conditions were not rife and the government was insensitive to the plight of Nigerians who put them in office.

Another resident, Falade Emmanuel said as a civil servant, what concerned him the most is the effect it would have on his income.

Falade lamented that Nigerians who do not mean well for the country would hijack the gesture and many overnight millionaires would emerge.

He asked the government to carry the people along and make the grant a social programme, adding that a trustworthy person should be recruited to handle it.

He expressed worry that the transport grant may end up becoming an avenue for political appointees to reward their supporters and cronies.

On her part, a trader, Hephzibah Olanipekun disclosed that the decision of the federal government was going to affect her business.

She told DAILY POST that since her business involves her travelling to areas where she purchases her goods and resells in Osogbo, it meant that her cost of transportation was going to increase.

She explained that with increased transport fare, there is the possibility of the price of goods and services increasing.

While noting that with the monthly transport grant, a difference may be achieved, she added that residents like her should benefit from it without any hassle.

The Nigerian Senate, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) have disagreed with the subsidy removal while the TUC and NLC have both threatened a showdown with the federal government.

While the Senate said there was no provision for such a grant in the 2022 budget, TUC expressed shock that government could come up with such an idea when negotiations on subsidy removal between the government and the Labour movement was still ongoing.

The Nigerian Labour Congress on its part described the development as an open invitation for unrest and revolt.

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