Amidst panic buying an official pronouncement on the increase in prices of petroleum products, a pro-democracy group, The Natives, has backed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s stance to do away with a subsidy of petroleum products.
Certain players in the downstream oil sector, the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, the Private Depot’s Owners Association, and the Independent Petroleum Marketers, have also made pronouncements for total deregulation of the oil sector on the heels of Tinubu’s inaugural speech.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, National Convener of The Natives, who also doubled as the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum and Energy Related Matters, Civil Society of Nigeria, Hon. Smard Edwards, urged the new administration to go ahead and reinvest the subsidy money on job creation, digital economy, healthcare, infrastructure, education, agriculture and incentives for the citizens among others.
He recalled that Tuesday’s official disclosure by the Group Managing Director of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, on the total sum spent so far to sustain subsidy was something to worry about.
He said: “Mr. President, we heard you loud and clear, the budget that you have glimpsed and heard before assuming office makes no room for fuel subsidy; therefore, fuel subsidy is gone.
“We want to state clearly that as citizens of Nigeria, we asked for it, and we will not postpone any dooms day, as a matter of fact, there is no doom.
“We asked every candidate for the removal, we demanded it from the past government, we were assured it will never go beyond June, we formed a coalition for the sector, we got the assurance of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, the NLC, the TUC, the Political Parties, former President, Muhammadu Buhari, we asked the Ministry of Finance, we demanded it from NNPC Ltd, we gathered Civil Society for it, and we knew it was coming, it will end in June, and we will never allow anyone to reinstate this sabotage of our livelihoods.
“No country can consistently allow 400billion monthly to a few Nigerians, we support this position, and we agree with the NNPC Ltd too, rather the 400billion per month can be invested in the One million Jobs, Digital Economy, Health, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Education, and Incentives.
“We call on Mr. President to give no restraint to the immediate revocation of any license of saboteurs and deal decisively with any attempt to make life unbearable for citizens by any beneficiaries of subsidy or its removal.
“Young people, women, disabled, and all Nigerians, the time to reinvest over N400bn monthly on us and for our sake, our parents and our children is here.
“We shall engage President Bola Ahmed Tinubu meaningfully to ensure that this country is governed under the rule of law and for the prosperity of all Nigerians. “
The group also tasked the Bola Tinubu administration to seek an audience with opposition leaders in order to give a sense of belonging to all.
“The first burden on the Nation is to free Nigeria from those that held us bound by fleecing our resources and impoverishing our people, it is a new dawn.
“President Abraham Ahmed Tinubu has set to serve, he will make bold decisions, he will consult, and will be fair, we trust he will reach out to H.E Atiku Abubakar and H.E Peter Obi, and he has already reached out to H.E Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. We can all build this nation together, and the solutions rest in all of us.
“It is not only about elections, it is about our history, our bond, the people, the parties, the policies, the progress is all directed towards a better life for all Nigerians home and abroad.”
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