By James Simon
The proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government has generated mixed reactions by Nigerians considering the current economic realities.
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele kyari reaffirmed the plan by the FG to stop subsidizing fuel by Fuel by February 2022.
The Minister of finance, Budget, and National Planning made it known that a stipend of N5000 will be paid to 40 million Nigerians to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
The pronouncements by the Minister of Finance and NNPC Group Managing Director have generated diverse reactions for residents in the Adamawa state.
Some residents said, removing fuel subsidy will further add to the hardship face by the populace while others are of the view that it will reduce corruption in the oil sector and will bring about infrastructural development in the country.
A public Affairs Analyst in Yola, Mr. Hudson Zubairu in an interactive session with Radio Nigeria, Fombina FM in Yola, said the proposed removal of fuel subsidy is absurd, noting that it will add to the hardship currently experienced by the masses.
Zubairu explained that subsidy removal will increase the rate of corruption in the country rather reducing it as the impact of the removal which is supposed to be felt by the masses will ended up being felt by some group of individuals, and the arm will there be defeated.
Zubairu further explained that will the current economic realities on the ground, the 5000 naira stipend proposed by the FG to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal will not be enough to have an impact on the target population, noting that the stipend may not reach the intended masses.
He, therefore, called on the government and those at the herm of affairs to deal with the issue of corruption before talking about fuel subsidy removal.
Similarly, an Economist in the Department of Economics, Adamawa State Polytechnic Yola Mr. Matthias Mathew Madu said looking at the economic indices, FG needs to prioritize economic growth and development rather than fuel subsidy removal.
The expert further said fuel subsidy removal will hurt individual purchasing power, noting that removing fuel subsidy means fuel pump price will be between 320 to 340 naira per liter.
Madu also explained that an increase in the price of fuel will affect all aspects of the economy, particularly, transport and manufacturing sectors of the economy which will also directly affect the price of goods and services.
He called on Government to find a means of diversifying the economy, by investing in manufacturing, mining, transportation, agriculture and other critical sectors of the economy to avoid over reliance on oil.
165 naira per litre, is the second most cheapest fuel pump price in Africa behind Angola and the most cheapest in west africa.