As the debate of whether or not the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should continue the subsidy on petroleum products, Nigerians from different walks of life, and social cultural groups have differed on the subject
For instance, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday differed on the recommendation of the Ahmed Joda-led transition committee which asked President Buhari to remove fuel subsidy.
The ARG, which backed the committee’s recommendation, described the subsidy regime as anti-people and a gang up against the collective interest of Nigeria.
The group therefore urged Buhari to divert the money being spent on the scheme to policies that would better the lot of the generality of Nigerians.
The ARG spokesperson, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, told Punch in Lagos, that the scheme had not done any good thing for the masses.
According to him, the subsidy is a scam specifically designed for a few individuals to make money at the expense of Nigerians.
Famoriyo said, “There was never anything like subsidy from the time immemorial. The price of petrol has not been the same between the South and the North. If you leave the South for the North, you will discover that there is a difference in the prices of petrol between the two regions.
“Let the Federal Government remove the subsidy. Anybody that wants to import fuel at a cheaper rate should be allowed to do so; let us open the market so that there will be competition among interested investors.
“Let us encourage the people to invest in the building of refineries. I don’t see any good the subsidy regime has done for the country. The subsidy is a conspiracy against the country.”
He, however, said the money spent on fictitious subsidy in the past could have been used to build refineries for the country, rather using it to massage the interest of a few people because of their closeness to the power that be.
But the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwogu, said he aligned with the position of the Nigeria Labour Congress which had warned Buhari against contemplating the subsidy removal.
Nwogu, who made his comment brief, said, “What did the Nigerian masses say? What is the position of the masses on the issue? Personally, I align with the positions of the masses and the NLC.”
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