The Nigerian Government, Subsidy and the State

Subsidy removal issue has been ON in Nigeria state for a long period of time now,  there has been series of drama that has unfolded between the government and the citizens of Nigerian State.
This issue has always make an average Nigerian wanting to stage a protest to express their displease against the decision of the government.
This drama has always raised so many questions in one’s mind, looking at the issue critically

Few of the foremost question are:

  • Is the subsidy removal the right way to go in solving the fluctuating price and scarcity always rocking the product.
  • To a very large extent how sincere is the government in spending the revenue generated from the subsidy removal.
  • Are we the citizen looking at the issue critically? We are just wailing.

If the government of the previous administration led by the former president Goodluck Jonathan removed subsidy in 2012 which saw Nigerians troop out in mass to protest against the decision of the government then, which the 5 day demonstration by Nigerians, and some said independence bodies like National Labor Congress, Trade Union Congress TUC which made the government to reversed  price of petrol from N140 it earlier said to N97,
The demonstration shown by Nigerians then surprised the fedral government led by Goodluck Jonathan then to the extent that it feel threatened to the extent that it has to use the military to disrupt some protest area like the Gani Fawehinmi square in Lagos in order to stop it from resulting to unforeseen event or disaster,

Is protesting  the right thing to do then as an average Nigerian or we just allow ourselves to be used as a tool by some of the political gladiators then who also came out openly to support the protest by Nigerians then.

Investigation has shown that some of the political gladiators who came out to demonstrate with Nigerians in 2012, do so because our interest align with theirs and sees that as opportunity to antagonize the then government of Goodluck Jonathan,
Some of these political gladiators are now in power and since there are inception of office they have also seen that the removal of subsidy is the way to go and they have been battling to remove the subsidy due to the present economic situation and how Nigerians will react to the decision following their enormous promises during their electioneering, 

The question to ask now is that are we Nigerians looking at the issue critically or we will just stage a protest and make ourselves vulnerable tool to some political gladiators who are looking for opportunities like this to propel their selfish interest against the government by using the people as some are already boasting of staging the mother of all protest,
This statement by a senator in the senate has make one to begin to wonder where the interest of people like them lies?
some of these senators see no problem in buying N36million SUVs despite the yearnings of the people that the utility vehicle are too expensive for the state to afford at this period economic hardship 
If Nigerians are not careful in dealing with this issue critically and we still allow what played out in January 2012 to play out again in 2016 we will still be dealing with this issue in years to come.
Another question to ask is the sincerity of the government on how it will spent the money generated from the removal of subsidy, the anti corruption crusade of the present government led by President Buhari  expose the high level of indecent spending and looting of money generated from the partially removed subsidy in the previous administration, the sales of crude product and virtually done nothing with the money gotten from the partially subside removal.

as the government is saying that if it successfully removed subsidy from petrol it channel the money to other areas for development. and this has also raised questions for the government on:

  • How is the government going to spend this money.
  • for how long do we have to endure this hardship.
  • What is the future plan for the oil sector and how they are going to fix or build new refineries.
  • And the economic values or benefit it will bring to the economy of the state

These are question now is that are we looking at the issue subjectively or we are preparing ourselves for this politician waiting at around the corner to use us again, or is time we tell do the right thing by letting this politicians know that some issues can not be politicized anymore if we want to develop, am not saying we should not demonstrate but what am emphasizing is that serious deliberations has to be done before we take any action.

Ayinlade Sikiru A.