Senators demand stakeholders’ meeting over proposed deregulation

24 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja- Senators, Ali Ndume, PDP, Borno and Ifeanyi Okowa, PDP Delta, on their part advised President Goodluck Jonathan to allow Nigerians decide through a stakeholders’ meeting whether fuel subsidy should be sustained or removed.

Senator Ndume, said, “I do not see the removal of subsidy as government policy. It is individual policy.

If you are taking a major policy decision like this and you did not involve the people through the National Assembly then it is not government policy. We are the representatives of the people. Then how come we are not being carried along?

“Even the Constitution provides that the people must have a say in government decisions and that includes issues such as fuel subsidy. So what they are trying to do is unconstitutional. As far as I am concerned, they should forget about it because Nigerians have clearly rejected it.”

Senator Okowa who is also pushing for the revitalization of the nation’s health sector and a special programme to stem the tide of sickle cell disorder urged the government to come up with well defined safety nets in the event that it goes ahead to remove fuel subsidy.

He said: “I feel that the Federal Government needs to come in with all information to Nigerians without holding back on any. Letting us know exactly what is going on and also letting us know whether the accounts as related to the subsidy of the PPPRA, NNPC and the PPMC have actually been properly audited by firms that we can trust.

“Let us know exactly how much fuel is actually coming into this country, how much fuel is being refined locally. We need to know all these because there are several talks about round tripping. There are so many challenges and government needs to throw these cards on the table with all the information available. Let the information be studied by the NLC, by the ordinary Nigerians and then we discuss it as a nation and agree. I think that is where we have been going wrong in this country.”

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