Let The Price Of Fuel Come Down

It is not convincing to me and most people to believe that the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country and the escalating cost of living cannot be overcome by the government. Its unbelievable that the situation has continued unabated to the present government. Its ridiculous that instead of round pegs to be fixed in round holes for effective governance, the government is not looking at solutions from the wider perspective. Wherever solutions can be achieved regardless of party inclinations, let it be done. It is not a natural occurrence but artificially created and therefore to say or think that there is no solution to these lingering problems is to be lazy. How are other nations solving there problems?


Even though a layman in the affairs of the sector, I don’t need glasses neither does it require rocket science for any Nigerian to be at home or feel OK with the prevailing situation. No amount of analysis will justify why the cost of fuel at designated selling points is still above the purchasing power of many Nigerians.It is ridiculous to observe that what is happening is being watched by those who know and the officials of the petroleum ministry and its numerous agencies, yet no action is taken. It is not comprehensible to understand why many months after the removal of subsidy, the prices have not come down, instead its increasing. From 540 naira per litre of PMS in the month of May to 617 naira in September and the federal government seems quite about it.

The product is very much available at the selling points now, but inaccessible to most people because of its high cost.

There was money but no fuel to buy, but now, the opposite is the case. There is abundant fuel at every fuel station now, but no money to buy. Sometimes you think there is no fuel at the filling points because you hardly see vehicular movements as before. But there is available fuel at every station except that there are no people to buy because of lack of money. Many have abandoned their vehicles at home to either resort to public transports or treck where possible. For how long shall the people live under such situations? Assurances from the President have continued but something tangible needs to be put in place to alleviate the suffering of the people. The high cost of the commodity has affected virtually every sector as prices of goods and services have equally jumped up.

While government is celebrating the rise in prices of petroleum products per barrel in the international market which can generate more money for its budget, it should be equally concerned about the domestic pricing which has direct bearing on the lives of its people. It should do something to address the daily needs of the people.

To me government is slow in this direction. Why would government allow such a situation to continue seeing that a lot of suffering is being inflicted on the people? Even though it is not the fault of the present government and neither will it be fair for anyone to blame them, what is expected is an accelerated action to overcome this challenge so that normal and easy life will return. It’s the responsibility of government to make life easy for the people and therefore the people will always look up to government.

It is time President Bola Tinubu get more hands even outside his Apc to fix things right. Its not about party but the entire gamut of the nation. The situation is affecting every party and their followers and therefore will not be out of place to look for solutions from anywhere regardless of partisan consideration. Promises of making the refineries work and importing fuel as a stop gap measure are being awaited. Even though commendable efforts at providing palliatives are greatly acknowledged, but the palliatives cannot go round every household of the needy. Can every poor person or those in dire need get something to cushion the painful effects of the situation? Even though it will go a long way to make a difference, but not until a wholistic solution is found for reasonable circulation among a reasonable part of the suffering population.

Food is scarce and the people are suffering.

There is urgent need to make this an emergency national priority to address the severe, acute and chronic hunger in the land. People are finding it so difficult to feed and some are dying. The federal,state and local governments are doing their best to provide palliatives to the poorest of the poor to cushion the effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy but because of the high population, the effort is like a tea cup in an ocean. The federal government should do something the more and release more funds to the states and local governments to purchase more foodstuffs for the people on one side while other lasting long term measures are being worked out.

What is happening in our communities leave much to be desired especially a situation where hunger will force people to steal fresh and unripe crops from the farm. People have to keep vigil on their farms to avoid such huge loses.

As an agricultural nation, the people don’t need to wait for government to encourage them in agriculture. This must be a wake up call and an eye opener to all. Farming should not be a pleasurable occupation for anyone living in Nigeria, not those within the middle class. No one needs to tell you the importance of having to put food on the table for your family. We have different types of farming these days and many don’t need land the way its expected. Within the compounds, yams,maize, potatoes, cocoyam, and manynother crops can be planted inside sacks. Many people are doing it and getting value for their investments. With just a borehole within, a lot of crops can be planted and harvested successfully. There is serious hunger in the land at the moment. A hungry man is an angry man and an angry man is automatically violent- bound.

The Subsidy removal has no doubt created a lot of problems for the people and things are no longer easy. The economic situation is getting worst by the day and yet, nothing concrete seems to be in place to cushion the effects of the pain.

When the President announced an 8k palliative for some selected families, he was immediately told of the unworkability of the sceme. Gladly, he stopped it, and since then, nothing is heard from him again except for the recent release of 2billion naira to the 36 states.The federal government should please do something urgently to wipe away the tears from the people. We commend the government for this effort, but its not enough to make it go round the millions of the suffering masses.

A litter of PMS now is between 615 and 617 naira while that of diesel is close to 1000. Transport fares and prices of basic food consumables have skyrocketed beyond the reach of the masses.

In the past, subsidy payments have milked the nation dry by collaborators within the oil industry and its withdrawal is long overdue. But withdrawing it without putting in place palliatives to absorb the pains of hardship compounds the economic problem of the people. The situation in developed nations which is absent here, is that alot of safeguards are always put in place to make it easy for the people whenever policies like this are being implemented. For instance, developed nations have good transportation systems covering good roads, viable aviation sectors and sound rail systems such that the people don’t need cars to congest the roads. Trains are always on the move and even in your bedroom you know when a train has arrived a station or a bus near your house. You can plan your schedules smoothly based on the reliability of the existing transport arrangements. You know when a bus will arrive your vicinity and Vice versa. But here in Nigeria, the opposite is the case. The nature of the transport system is such that its only when you get home that you thank God Almighty. Because of the absence of petroleum products transport fares go up in geometrical progression leading to exorbitant cost of foodstuffs and generalised conditions.

Its a good thing that those who had initially opposed subsidy withdrawal have come to terms with the reality of the situation,hence the desperate moves to tackle it.

Those who politicised it years ago and tormented the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, have suddenly made a U- turn. We all have realised that the unnecessary delay in removing the subsidy had slowed down so much progress for the nation.

Previous regimes kept singing the subsidy withdrawal song without any action. While the new administration mustered the political will, it is yet to ensure that adequate safeguards and palliatives are put in place to reduce the sufferings of the people.

Up till now, the nation is yet to recover from the sudden action, but hopefully so if wider solutions are sought and tapped.

The purchasing power of many individuals is still as poor as it was many years ago. People have not come to terms with the existing economic situation of unemployment, poor remuneration and lack of salaries and even the recently introduced currency changes and cash shortages. This has only compounded the existing problems of the people under extremely high cost of petroleum products regime.The labour community which is the most hit has mobilised and is insisting that without any palliatives in place, the policy should be kept at bay.

Even though subsidy removal is long overdue because of the endemic corruption that has been in place, its sudden withdrawal is creating serious economic problems.It has heightened inflation. Already the purchasing power of the people is weak, and therefore they cannot cope with high cost of living,increase in prices of fuel itself and all other goods and services. Transportation cost has multiplied and the cost of housing, food, clothing,etc has also skyrocketed. Because of the corrupt nature of the marketers in our country, there will be continous increase in the pump price as we are witnessing today. Marketers keep conniving among themselves to hoard the product by creating artificial scarcity to escalate the suffering of the people.

In some countries where things are done right for the interest of the people, measures are normally put on ground before such policies are implemented. In Indonesia for instance, government was said to have commenced mass cash transfers to its citizens as palliatives so as to strengthen their purchasing power and cope with the subsidy withdrawal within the critical period. In the United States for instance, such massive cash transfers were witnessed during the COVID-19 crisis as palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19. It behoves on the new government of President Tinubu to act fast to ensure that the ongoing hardship is halted.

The federal government must invite all ideas and think outside the box to free Nigeria and Nigerians of this avoidable calamity. The nation is too rich to be poor or see its citizens suffer. With numerous and endless opportunities, the people should not be suffering this way.

About the author

Rabia Rabiu

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