Start Refining Oil in Nigeria Before Removing Subsidy, Nigerians Tell FG
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been urged to drop the idea of total removal of petroleum subsidy at the moment, as inflation is biting hard on the purchasing power of the people.
An economist and social commentator, Mr Paul Alaje states this on Wednesday while contributing in an interview program on ARISE Tv, where he advised that instead of removing the subsidy totally, the government should rather work on refining the crude oil in Nigeria.
Many Nigerians have opined that the present administration has shown that it does not feel the hardship that pervades the country as the price of electricity, cooking gas and foodstuffs have skyrocketed.
Alaje pointed that locally refined products will grow the economy and make Nigeria less dependent of importation of refined oil, despite her status as one of the world oil-producing countries.
He states that removal of subsidy will deepen the level of poverty in the land as people will bear the direct burden of inflation.
”Government should start refining in Nigeria before removing fuel subsidy, the burden will be heaped on the rich, the poor and the already deprived in the Society.
”Here is an economy where the real income of the working class has continued to evacuate because of double inflation figure on one hand and they want to now make people compete with the global price.
”When we say we should allow the force of demand to dictate the price, the question we should be asking is what are the alternatives people have in a monolithic economy?”
While analyzing the impacts of the cushioning intervention of the Central Bank on Nigerians with low income, Alaje said it showed that the administration has lost focus, as the apex bank has left its statutory duties to become what he called ‘interventionist bank.’
The Nigerian government announced on Tuesday that it would implement total removal of subsidy by 2021 while it announced an intervention package of #5000 for each of 40million Nigerians that were described as ‘poorest of the poor.’