Petrol Subsidy Removal is Government Scam: Resist it!

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1. I do not believe the lie from the government when they tell you removal of subsidy is good, they further tell you other countries do not pay subsidy for fuel or services. That’s a big lie.

2. Take US as example, the government does not subsidize fuel but the government subsidizes Agriculture.

3. Government actually pay farmers money so they can plant and grow crops. Government subsidies livestock, example, a piece of beef you buy in a store for 2 dollar, the actual price is 6 dollars, the government pays the rest, a create of egg you buy for 3 dollars is actually 12 dollars, government pays the rest. Government even pays crop insurance cost for farmers through subsidies and provide tax credit to farmers who use renewable energy like wind and solar in their farms. All that is subsidy.

3. Now, because of high cost of healthcare in America, government subsidizes healthcare, government pays the cost of healthcare for most Americans through a subsidy program called Obamacare.

4. Government even pays rents for poor people who cannot afford housing through a subsidy welfare program called section 8. The government pays the rents directly to the landlords or apartment complexes and poor people live there for free.

5. What about education, the US government subsidizes school fees through a program called pell grants and financial aid to enable poor Americans afford the cost of college. In some cases, school fee is about 15 thousand dollars per semester, financial aid gives you a subsidized loan of 8 thousand dollars while pell grants pays the rest. Through subsidies government makes life easy for the poor.

6. What about public transportation, a bus or train fare that ordinarily would cost you 6 to 8 dollars, you end up buying a train ticket for 2 dollars, the government pays the balance through different tax rebate and credits to the transportation company.

7. So listen, don’t allow our lying government deceive you by saying removal of subsidy is good for you, it is not. It brings hardship to you. The problem is our government has no technical capacity to manage a subsidy regime. This is what we get when clueless people run the government.

8. In a few months rents, food, and prices of all goods will double and government expect salaries to be the same. How can salaries be the same? What wickedness!

9. A government that does not care if the people are suffering does not need to be in power, that’s the beauty of democracy.

10. The problem with our subsidy regime in Nigeria is that instead of being used to alleviate poverty, it has been hijacked by thieves and criminals who are the same people that sponsor politicians to office.

11. Subsidy has become a money making scheme. Instead of government to clamp down on the money making theft in subsidy payments, orchestrated by civil servants and thieving contractors, government passed the burden to the Nigerian poor by removing subsidy all together. Nigerians deserve better.

12. Instead of government to arrest the subsidy thieves and send them to prison and so sanitize the subsidy regime, the government decides to remove it all together, passing the burden again to the Nigerian poor. This is really sad. Have you imagined how many people will die from this hardship, how many children will go hungry, yet government has no immediate plan to cushion the sufferings.

13. As Nigerians, you need to understand what you support. We all know the money government will now make from subsidy removal will be stolen by same government just as it has always done. It will end up in their foreign accounts while Nigerians continue to suffer.

We demand accountability from government, we demand transparency in public funds, we demand open governance, we demand that the government put in place structures to address pending incoming hardships. A government that can just wake up one day and remove subsidy, should be able to wake up another day and fix the problem it has created.

Question: Is this the change we voted for?

 

Princewill Odidi is a US based development analysts and public commentator