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FUEL SUBSIDY AND PRICE CONTROL- SOLUTION TO ECONOMIC HARDSHIP IN NIGERIA

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FUEL SUBSIDY AND PRICE CONTROL- SOLUTION TO ECONOMIC HARDSHIP IN NIGERIA

By: Victor Emejuiwe

No sane government should watch its citizens suffer untold hardship and live in poverty. The primary responsibility of government is to protect the life’s and to secure the welfare of the people. President Ahmed Bola Tinubu spontaneously announced the removal of fuel subsidy on the day of its inauguration without considering the attendant consequences of such a decision. In fairness to the removal, the amount of money claimed to be payment of subsidy in Nigeria was quite humongous from N300 billion during the Good Luck Jonathan administration in 2012, to N2.7 trillion in 2022. However, beyond the doubt as to the authenticity of the real value paid on subsidy, the secrecy and corruption associated with the entire subsidy regime was very un-palatable. It was as a result of this, that many Nigerians canvassed for the removal of subsidy. Nevertheless, there are some other school of thought who believes that the government was not sincere on its own part due to the lack of transparency and accountability in petrol consumption and subsidy payment. Also, even where several reports indicting subsidy saboteurs were released, the federal government did nothing to investigate and prosecute those who were accused of corruptly enriching themselves from the subsidy payments. Therefore, the payment of subsidy on its own was not the problem but the willingness of government to come clean with its transaction on subsidy payment and muster the political will to pervert corruption amongst the stakeholders was the major problem. The view on re-introduction of subsidy becomes necessary given the fact that payment of subsidy is a common global practice by governments all over the world. It is taken to ameliorate hardship faced by majority of citizens in the purchase of very expensive commodities. In this case, Nigeria being a mono-economy driven by sales of crude oil, has made the price of every other commodities reflective in the rise or fall in the price of crude oil. The subsidy regime cushioned a lot of hardship amongst Nigerian in the past and with its removal today, Nigerians have not been able to recover from the effect, as we can witness the continuous increase in the prices of all commodities in Nigeria. Most workers do not report to work on a daily basis, some business closed shops and the general standard of living has reduced. Couple with this fact, is government inactiveness in controlling the hike in the prices of locally produced commodities. The lack of a price stabilization and mechanization control which was hitherto implemented in the 70’s have made it possible for middle men to determine the prices of commodities in the market. The practice of the middle men is to acquire these goods from the dealers and hoard them so as to create scarcity and speculate a market price before they sell, with wide profit margin. If government enforce the price control Act as ordered recently by the federal high court on goods and commodities that are locally produced in Nigeria, the hoarders and speculators would run out of business and food items and other commodities would be available at the normal rate. The lack of a price control mechanism is what led to the failure of most government policies on agriculture. It is so unfortunate that the past government of President Muhammed Buhari, made efforts to encourage local production of food commodities such as rice and even provided subsidies to farmers to embark on local rice production, but instead of having the price of rice reduced, it rather led to more than 200 percent increase in the price of rice. Rice which was sold for N9600 before the ban on imported rice, skyrocket to N19,800, at a point, it rose to N36,000 and the government could not do anything to stop the hike. Under this present administration, a bag of rice sells for N77,000. It is an anomaly for government to provide incentives to local producers of commodities and at the same time, do not have control of the market price.
In light of the above, in the interim, the Federal Government should re-introduce subsidy on petrol and diesel under a more transparent regime and deal with saboteurs who divert the products to other countries and in the long run, the Federal government should get our refineries working at optimum capacity so that any attempt to remove subsidy on petrol and diesel will not have much impact on the price on petrol. Also, a list of commodities and items produced locally should be established and the market price should be determined under a price control, stabilization and mechanization regime. The government should enforce the laws and policy on price control. Finally, for resource mobilization, the government should stop oil theft so that more resources can be generated from crude oil and this would help us pay for the subsidy on petrol and also pay for the functionality of our refineries.

*Victor Emejuiwe
Monitoring and Evaluation/Strategic Communication Manager
Centre for Social Justice.
Abuja
08068262366

FUEL SUBSIDY AND PRICE CONTROL- SOLUTION TO ECONOMIC HARDSHIP IN NIGERIA

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

By: Michael Mike

Plans are underway to further strengthen areas of partnership and collaboration between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This way revealed during the visit of the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa to the Embassy of UAE in Abuja following the removal of the visa ban by placed on Nigeria by the Arab country.

Dabiri-Erewa who was received by the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, stated that NiDCOM intends to engage and sensitize Nigerians in the UAE to be good ambassadors of their country of stay and country of origin, to excel in whatever they are doing and never to forget home.

She added further “this initiative aims to foster better understanding and compliance with local regulations”, while She disclosing that 190 Nigerians were repatriated to Nigeria, with an additional 250 expected to return soon.

She said the actions of individuals in a host country can greatly impact the overall image of their home country, noting that the role of Western media imperialism in perpetuating negative stereotypes about Nigerians.

The UAE Envoy on his part, explained that the visa ban on Nigeria has been officially lifted.

He confirmed that the Visa on Arrival policy has been canceled for all countries, but assured that the new procedures are designed to facilitate tourism and ensure travelers’ safe return.

The Ambassador expressed his commitment to providing the best possible services for Nigerians, with the support of the determined Nigerian government.

He also acknowledged the UAE’s role in safely repatriating 96 Nigerians at no cost.

Marking his one-year anniversary as the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Shamsi shared his positive impressions of Nigeria, describing it as a beautiful country with warm-hearted people who share similar cultural, religious, Android ethnic backgrounds with the UAE.

He expressed his eagerness to continue collaborating with NiDCOM to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Nigeria, UAE to Strengthen Partnership and Collaboration

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

By: Michael Mike

The United Kingdom Government has hosted a multi-stakeholder meeting in Abuja to discuss how its Serious & Organised Crime (SOC) Prevent Programme is making significant strides in deterring vulnerable young people from joining Organised Crime Groups in Nigeria.

Launched as a three-year pilot in December 2021, the programme is designed to disrupt Nigerian Organised Crime Groups by redirecting at-risk youth towards positive alternatives in Bayelsa, Edo, Zamfara and Lagos states.

In select local governments of these states, the SOC Prevent Programme has established robust structures and delivered various interventions, including Back-to-School Initiatives, Digital Skills Acquisition, Dance and Drama Workshops and Sports Interventions.

Collaborating closely with the Nigeria Police Force, the programme has trained 83 officers in the Prevent methodology, reinforcing the commitment to institutionalise this approach in tackling SOC, and to date, approximately 1,500 beneficiaries across the four states have been diverted from potential involvement in organised crime.

Speaking at the meeting, the Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Lever said: “Serious & Organised Crime is a priority for both Nigeria and the UK, and can take many forms. Ranging from online focussed activities like cybercrime to the physical movement of illicit commodities and people in the form of trafficking.

“Our results in Nigeria have proven that the Prevent methodology works, and it has been successful in diverting young people from choosing a life of crime. I believe that the valuable discussions that took place today will smoothen the way for Prevent to be fully institutionalised in Nigeria.”

The meeting included representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Police Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), INTERPOL, Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), Ministry of Police Affairs, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and others.

The Prevent programme is an approach to tackling SOC. Others are Pursue, Protect and Prepare. Prevent methodology looks to prevent or deter people from engaging in SOC by raising awareness of the consequences of SOC and developing techniques to deter people from continuing in criminality.

UK Government Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Serious and Organised Crime

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

By: Michael Mike

All is now set for the commissioning of multi-million naira installed solar street light by Adeola Odutola College 1979-1984 set as part of the activities lined up to commemorate the 40 years of leaving the school on Friday July 19.

In a statement, the set said the celebration which had earlier been kicked off with a thanksgiving in the Church on Sunday June 16, to mark the 75 years Founder’s Day, will witness a special Jumat service for the commemoration in the school.

According to Abiodun Balogun, the President of Adeola Odutola College Old Students Association 1979-1984 set, stated that the programme will start with the set participating in the morning assembly with the students from 8 a.m followed by a courtesy call on the Principal and Management of the school.

Thereafter, he said there would be commissioning of the installed solar street light at 11.00 a.m donated by the set to the school.

Balogun said the set will join the Muslim community of the School to observe a Jumat service specially for the set .

Other activities lined up for the anniversary include a get together and gala nite where the old students will reunite and reminiscence of their five years stay in the school.

Balogun added that the set is grateful to God for His benevolence on them as it has produced Professors and academicians, top civil servants, businessmen and women, educationists among several others both at home and in the diaspora.

It will be recalled that the set regrouped in 2014 to mark its 30 years in existence with renovation of some classrooms in the school.

Adeola Odutola College 79/84 set celebrate 40 years in grand style with multi-million naira donation of solar street light to school

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