Fuel subsidy: Ekiyor urges Jonathan to beware of bad advisers

Emma Amaize

23 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Netherlands, Rotterdam – FORMER national president of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to follow his conscience in taking decisions that affect the country and not allow those he described as “stupid policy formulators” to make his government unpopular.

Speaking on the plan by the Federal Government to remove petroleum subsidy, Ekiyor wondered why President Jonathan that pandered to the interest of the masses the way he managed the fuel crisis in his early days in power, would want to do exactly the opposite by removing fuel subsidy at such a critical time.

“Instead of removing fuel subsidy, the President should concentrate on the many challenges facing the country, including – issues of state creation, which should benefit all Nigerians; fight against corruption , which should ordinarily tackle the cabals’ benefitting from the subsidy scam; infrastructure development , especially in the Niger-Delta to address the very cause of the agitation; slow performing MDAs like the Niger-Delta Ministry, NDDC, education, aviation and health sector,” he asserted.

His words, “Nigeria, with its current financial muscle and fuel subsidy in place can tackle all these frontally if only President Jonathan will follow his mind rather than listen to stupid policy formulators, who in between the line of such policy have hidden agenda to either steal further from the system or plummet the Goodluck administration further down the ladder”.

“Why should it be President Jonathan that should be removing fuel subsidy knowing that it will adversely affect the ordinary man and why at this crucial time of our national life. As far as I am concerned, those who advised him on this policy, indeed, are not in tune with the stack reality on the happenings in the country.

“Even military junta as much as possible used the subsidy to attain cheap popularity, what is it the Jonathan administration intend to achieve by this issue? There are already too many challenges confronting the nation and President Jonathan is the center of all of them all,” he asserted.

Ekiyor added, “In my opinion Goodluck should focus on the small possibilities and deliver on them, rather pursue big impossibilities. Nigeria is not there yet to implement certain American models in isolation, we must consider at all times the reality on ground, even though we seek the ideal”.

The youth leader pointed out, “The three new refineries are still on paper, while the old three are barely struggling, the coastal road project is perhaps in the pipeline and crying for attention now, as not much has been heard after the fight between MNDA and NDDC on who awards consultancy for its design. Cement is still yet to drop in price to the N1000 per bag, even though the big importers promised to respond to Mr. President’s orders, so what are we talking about?

“How can you increase fuel price while trying to drop cement price. Certainly we are double speaking and more so, if we build refineries, there will be nothing to subsidize on imported petroleum products since we can meet our domestic consumption and would have also created jobs for our team unemployed young graduate”.

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