About 82 Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) under the aegis of “Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED) have hailed President Muhammadu Buhari over plans to end the subsidy regime in Nigeria.
The coalition gave the commendation in a seven-point communique issued at the end of a conference of the Coalition in Abuja on Friday.
In the communique, which was signed by the convener, Yusuf Dan Maitama and the Secretary, Badaru Ayewoh, the coalition said it was a right step in the right direction.
The coalition noted that the subsidy regime was unsustainable, adding that the best way to tackle the problem was to remove subsidies.
According to the communique, the conference, titled: “Fuel Subsidy Removal in Nigeria”, was deliberately chosen in view of the realities of the times.
He said that if the money is paid as a cost of fuel subsidy was channelled into the provision of infrastructure and other social sectors of the economy, there be growth and development.
They further recommended that the fuel subsidy regime be stopped from January 2022.
They said the subsidy regime was a major challenge forcing the federal government into external borrowing.
“The resource persons who are world-class researchers in the oil and gas industry extrapolated issues bordering on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and identified Nigeria’s major economic challenges as that of the active fuel subsidy regime.
“In the group discussions, participants were unanimous that Nigeria was the only country in the world that sustained fuel subsidy regime for the past 20 years.
“The fuel subsidy regime was a capitalist and elitist policy that services only the top-heavy, hence, successive governments found it difficult to implement their economic policies.
“It was pointed out that the Federal government spends N250 billion on fuel subsidy every month.
“The development, discussants averred was largely responsible for national debts as revenue coming into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account are used to settle the fuel subsidy.”
They pleaded with the organised labour not to embark on strike on account of ending subsidies.
They urged the federal government to forward a budget for N5000 grants to be disbursed to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.
The Federal Government of Nigeria should end the fuel subsidy regime effect from 1st January 2022 in order the save the sum of N250 billion monthly as the economy of Nigeria has become very fragile given the financial burden orchestrated by the subsidy regime.
“That Nigeria is a monolithic economy as such, revenue earnings must be jealously guarded and which should be channelled into road construction, power, education, health and development of its youth.
“The organised labour should be considerate and not embark on strike action in the circumstance that the Federal government has ended fuel subsidy regime, given the reversal of huge resources back into the federal government coffers.
“The Federal Government and all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry should strictly enforce the provisions of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which came into effect after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The federal government, private and public sectors should embark on sensitisation of Nigerians on the need for immediate removal of fuel subsidy in order to save the nation from further financial haemorrhage.
“The federal government of Nigeria should forward the budgetary provision of N5000 grant to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal to the two arms of the National Assembly for legislative debate before the passage of 2022 budget.
“The Civil Society Coalition commends the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited for his commitment to the stability of oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”