The past few days into this new year has rather been like a drag to me and most other Nigerians and it’s been from talks of fuel subsidy removal to protests ongoing in various states of Nigeria to the other and then the very genesis of all problems which seems to have calmed down all of a sudden (God help us………) Boko Haram.
Frankly speaking, politics has never been my thing but when the problems resulting from decisions made by people in top government is staring right at your face only then will you realize that politics is a part and parcel of who we are, the community we live in and the way we intend to mold our society all have politics as an index factor.
The story is a long one but I will try to cut it short and make it as understandable as possible without boring you. Fuel in Nigeria (Gas) has been sold in recent times for 65 naira a litre ($0.4 dollars), a subsidized rate which has been shouldered by the government of the federation. We have crude oil but do not have refineries and crude is taken outside the shores of the country, refined and then resold back to Nigerians at a higher rate.
Now the Federal Government has decided to remove the subsidy on fuel and it will then be sold at 141 per litre ($0.88 dollars) which is more than a 100 percent increase! Alarming! For a country where you have people living under a dollar per day? Isn’t this absurd?
That people have to pay twice the amount on anything they buy in the market and also have to pay twice in refilling their fuel tanks which also include their generator fuel tanks as there is no constant electricity and we thereby resort to generating our own electricity by ourselves as our government has failed us in that regard. It is a sorry sight I bet you would not want to have a taste of if avoidable.
The proposed plan by government is to remove the fuel subsidy isn’t a bad idea in itself if only Nigeria was an ideal state (am sorry, my thoughts). The plan is to use funds from fuel subsidy removal in building our own refineries such that we no longer have to export crude to be refined and then sold back to us at a higher price but then do we trust the government to keep such funds after so much sacrifices have been made by common Nigerians who have to contend with their old salaries (we’ve been on the fight for increased minimum wage for workers since last year which still remains unresolved in most states), curb their excesses (if they had any), walk twice as much on days they cannot afford the increased fare, eat a meal without a piece of meat as they can’t afford to and maybe just maybe, pull their children out of school when they fail to meet up, while top government officials live it off with cars fuelled at the expense of suffering taxpayers money, their home generators been fuelled also and trips abroad for medical checkup and an annual salary that could be used in building up to ten schools fully equipped!
Small businesses will have increased running costs and be forced to go under when not able to cope with it. My pain is why the masses are the only one to make the sacrifices and the senators and top government officials not feel a single pinch. Is this not their own Nigeria also? We say No to fuel subsidy removal and that’s been our song since January 1st 2012 when it was being announced and given to us as an unpleasant New Year gift! No to further marginalization and sidelining of some individuals! Democracy is a government of the people therefore the government has to listen to the people and not make autocratic decisions no matter “how good” they say these decisions are. The people trusted you with their votes and expect to be respected in return and not just sidelined at one corner.
2012 is going to be a great year and I hope we all make it work for ourselves. God bless Nigeria and God bless us all!
For those who have never seen me write like this on national issues, this is just a burning issue that’s been bogging my mind and I really needed to unleash my pent up emotions and if you didn’t find this an interesting read I hope when this issue is all trashed out and we are all smiling again that you will do but then again life always presents us with challenges that we have to conquer and get to the next stage. There’s no end to its drama until we get to heaven!
Credence goes to Bellanaija.com for the pictures!