Gas-station

Fuel Subsidy Removal: Good Policy, Bad Timing – KOWA Party

KOWA Party, one of Nigeria’s opposition parties has described the increase in fuel price and removal of petrol subsidy as a good policy coming at a wrong time. In a statement made available to SIGNAL and signed by the party’s National Youth Leader, Jude Feranmi, the party maintained that it was opposed in totality to the new fuel price regime as announced by the Buhari-Led Federal Government.

Read the full statement below.

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Today, we have finally decided to respond to the incompetence and incoherence of this administration in what has now turned out to be a repeated act when it comes to issues of national importance affecting the daily lives and indeed the lives of Nigerians both home and abroad.

To be crystal clear, KOWA PARTY is opposed in totality to the new fuel price regime as announced by the Buhari-Led Federal Government. We condemn the insensitivity of this administration and the lack of empathy on the situation that Nigerians currently face, not for a disagreement in the need to remove totally the cankerworm that manifests itself in what we call ‘subsidy’ or the need to deregulate completely the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. Our condemnation arises out of rational and emotional consideration on the experiences and the situation that Nigerians are currently facing.

It is unbelievable and almost inhumane that the Federal Government after subjecting Nigerians to almost a year of suffering in different shades of queues, sweat and commodity price hikes decided to subject Nigerians to more suffering just a few days after a form of hope was restored when the controversial budget was finally passed.

Present Buhari was quoted as saying that he feels the pains of Nigerians and that he hears our cries. We are forced to ask if this quote was indeed Mr President’s original thoughts or the thoughts of the speechwriter whose job it was to draft the ceremonial speech.

In the same vein that we understand that the budget for ‘subsidy’ was not included in the signed budget for the year 2016, we also understand that plans for an increase in the minimum wage was not included in the budget thereby ensuring that the suffering that Nigerians have endured for the past one year for both lack of policy direction and incoherent policies is about to be doubled owing to the almost doubled price of Nigeria’s most important commodity in demand without any inch of corresponding increase in the average Nigerian’s salary/wage.

This is simply a scenario of Good Policy with a Bad Timing and KOWA PARTY would not have overseen this kind of policy move.

As is evident that there is never a good timing for a hard choice/decision, the circumstances surrounding this policy move at such a time as this is due to the previous forex policy on devaluation (which is reportedly now to be pursued) when this administration against all rational economic advice refused to review at a time when its effects would have been cushioned by average Nigerians by now. Should the occupants of Aso Villa not know, let them be told that the ripple effect of this fuel price hike coupled with the devaluation that is (if reports are to go by) soon to come is simply too much for Nigerians to bear.

Nigerians must now rally together to demand accountability, palliatives and viable alternatives from this government. Nigerians must begin to ask that a detailed plan of projects in the ministry of works, power, housing and transportation that have the ability to provide jobs and create easing measures from the effects of these policies be provided and unlike the Minister of Information who thinks he owes no Nigerian any explanation, Nigerians must begin to demand for explanations, project sites openings, results and the implementation of the budget and accept nothing less and NO MORE EXCUSES.

As a show of faith, We also demand that the cost of governance be cut to the barest minimum as much as possible. The notion that it is the masses that must suffer the incompetence and the inefficiency of government must stop. If ‘subsidy’ has to be removed, then the exorbitant cost of running the government has to be reduced too.

While we continue to hope that the Buhari Led Government has not begun to take Nigerians, the  patience we have had in suffering for the last one year and our resilience for granted, we implore all Nigerians to keep the HOPE of the possibility of a better Nigeria, if not now, in the years to come.

May God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Signed
Jude ‘Feranmi (JFK)
National Youth Leader,
KOWA PARTY

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