Lawmakers question calls for fuel subsidy removal

04 January 2016, Kaduna — Two National Assembly members, Senator Danjuma La’ah (Southern Kaduna), and Honourable Yakubu Umar Barde (Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency), have questioned the rationale behind calls for fuel subsidy removal, saying it is unjust, diversionary and political.

Fuel scarcityMaking the remarks in Kafanchan at the official unveiling/conference of the Youth Patriotic Front of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State chapter, argued that it was hypocritical that those calling for removal of subsidy today vehemently opposed during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

La’ah said he supported fuel subsidy removal earlier, but noted that it was now a different thing because the intention of those calling for it was not sincere. “During the PDP era and earlier before now, we clamoured and struggled for the removal of fuel subsidy, but it was not supported by those clamouring for it today. The question we should all ask ourselves is: What is the motive behind the call for subsidy removal now?”

 Barde, who is also the minority whip of the House of Rep, however, said though he was a proponent of subsidy removal because that is key to developing the Nigerian economy, if it was rejected under Jonathan, it should not be accepted now. The lawmaker said he realised long ago that fuel subsidy was not beneficial to the common man but to a powerful cartel who have continued to enrich themselves and should be removed, but this was never given a chance under Jonathan.

“The question I want to ask is whether, with the coming of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the cartel that has been enjoying the fuel subsidy has been removed. The answer is no,” Barde stated.

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