11 June 2015, Lagos – The Conscience Nigeria, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) focused on good governance, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to heed the advice by some stakeholders to implement total removal of subsidy and deregulation of the downstream sector.
Executive Director, Conscience Nigeria, Mr. Tosin Adeyanju, at a press briefing in Abuja, advised Buhari not to fall into the trap being set by those he referred to as “oil mafia” through, “ill-timed fuel subsidy removal”.
According to Adeyanju, the concerns expressed by Nigerians that forced the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan administration to rescind on initial deregulation of the sector are yet to be addressed.
He said this was because “we believed that if we must deregulate or remove subsidy on petrol, certain fundamentals must be addressed.”
The Civil Society activists insisted that “nothing has changed since the last removal of subsidy by former President Goodluck Jonathan, which caused the ‘Occupy Nigeria’ to shut down the country.
“Should the fuel subsidy be removed without addressing certain issues, Conscience Nigeria will help to “mobilise Nigerians against this unpopular policy that will definitely bring hardship to Nigerian masses”.
Speaking further, Adeyanju appealed to the President Buhari to “review the 2015 budget and refocus it to dedicate 40 per cent of it to job creation for young people who made the change mantra possible, because the unemployment situation is a time bomb waiting to explode.”
He also called on the President not to be in a hurry to inflict hardship on Nigerians through the total removal of subsidy because fuel will now sell at over N350 per litre and the masses will be at the receiving end.
As a solution, Adeyanju advised Buhari led administration to diversify the economy through the rejuvenation of Ajaokuta Steel Company to create millions of jobs.
He also urged the new administration to avoid what he described as a cosmetic job creation, which we have seen in the past where young able bodies were employed to be sweeping street or ride keke NAPEP.
“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 timing. The President should commence with immediate effect the turn around maintenance of our refineries”.
– This Day