NGO Cautions On Quick Subsidy Removal


An NGO, Conscience
Nigeria, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not be in a hurry to remove subsidy on fuel to avoid inflicting hardship on Nigerians.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Tosin Adeyanju, gave the advice at a news conference in Abuja.
Adeyanju said that Nigerians were concerned that if government must deregulate or remove subsidy on fuel, certain fundamentals must be addressed, including those raised in 2012 when government wanted it withdrawn.
One of the fundamentals, according to him, includes the establishment of coastal refineries and effective turnaround maintenance of the existing ones.
“We call on Mr President to immediately commence building of several coastal refineries that are cost effective and not too bogus, and will be delivered to Nigerians in good time.
“He should also commence with immediate effect the turnaround maintenance of our refineries as well making sure that credible companies are engaged in their maintenance.
‘So that our local refineries can operate at least 80 per cent production capacity,’’ Adeyanju said.
Adeyanju also called on the president to diversify the country’s economy through the rejuvenation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
He expressed optimism that the company, if revived would create millions of genuine jobs for Nigerian youths.
Adeyanju also appealed to Buhari to review the 2015 budget and refocus it to ensure that 40 per cent of the budget’s capital expenditure was dedicated toward job creation for the youth.
“Mr President should not only build on the former administration’s programmes established toward youth empowerment.
“He should do everything possible to supersede what past government had done for the youths, ’’ he said.
Adeyanju said that if subsidy were removed without addressing the identified issues, Nigerians could go on the streets to protest the policy that would bring hardship to the people.