Nigerian Senators kick aganist fuel subsidy removal

Henry Umoru
& Inalegwu Shaibu

21 December 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — Nigerian Senators, Tuesday, kicked against the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan, after which they commenced a three-week vacation to mark the Christmas and the New Year festivities.

They spoke during the debate on the 2012 Appropriation Bill at the Senate.

Senator Chris Ngige, ACN, Anambra, who warned that any attempt to remove the fuel subsidy would not augur well for the well-being of the people, however, suggested that urgent action must be taken to reduce the country’s debt profile to release more money to the key areas of the economy.

According to him, “removing this subsidy will not solve our problems. Budgets are supposed to bring smile to the faces of the people but the attempt to remove subsidy will cause severe pain. The amount for servicing debt is too high. We must do something to reduce and avoid a recurrence of this high debt profile. Then, we can raise more funds for agriculture.”

Also speaking, Senator Abubakar Tutare, PDP, Adamawa, noted that the proposed withdrawal of fuel subsidy would further escalate the growing number of the unemployed. He stated: “If you remove subsidy, where is the promise that you are targeting employment generation? Our people are suffering and now you want to bring more hardship on them. That is not fair on the people.”

On his part, Senator Anthony Adeniyi, ACN, Ekiti, said his people were against the removal of subsidy, adding that removal of fuel subsidy would negatively affected the people. “My people are opposed to the removal of subsidy. If subsidy is removed, it will impact negatively on the ability of the people to power their businesses. In the past, when diesel was deregulated, we have not seen any benefits to the people,” he said.

Briefing Journalists, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia, assured that the Senate will act on the management of fuel subsidy the way it did with the probe on Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE).

According to him, the Senate would ensure that no hardship is brought on the people.

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