Fuel Subsidy: Enugu TUC Chairman Explains Tinubu’s ‘Mistake’

The harrowing difficulties Nigerians currently pass through as a result of the removal of oil subsidy are as a result of federal government’s insensitivity to the plight of the masses and its lack of political will to expose the corruption in the system.


The chairman of Trade Union Congress, Enugu State chapter, Comrade Ben Asogwa, stated this on Tuesday in a chat with newsmen in Enugu. He said the organised Labour tabled some palliatives to be met by the FG before the removal should be effected, adding that the conditions were not met. Among them, he said, were making the nation’s refineries functional, upward review of the minimum wage, launch of government assisted mass transit scheme and conversation of most vehicles in Nigeria to run on condensed natural gas (CNG).

Asogwa further expressed fear that the amount that would be saved by removing the subsidy could still be re-looted by the same system that abused the oil subsidy regime.

In his words, “Removing subsidy is treating the symptom and not the ailment. The actual problem is corruption. The fear we have from the Labour side is that even after removing the subsidy, the money realised will likely return to the same people that have been stealing from the subsidy because they will not sleep. They will go over to where the money realised is being channeled to.

“We expected Tinubu, because the out-gone president did not champion it to the end, to call a roundtable with stakeholders to map out the next line of action. He would have given up to three weeks going by the fact that the budget covered till the 30th of this June for the subsidy.”

On FG’s not implementing Labour’s proposals before subsidy removal, Asogwa said, “What we placed on the table included making our refineries functional before the removal. We won’t be talking much about foreign exchange impacts when we refine our oil locally. When you produce crude and take it to another country to refine, and then bring it back, the cost of shipping the product alone is high.


“The PMS they are dispensing today was already subsidised because they didn’t import it on 29th May, 2023. If Nigeria owes the importers, what we are consuming presently is part of that debt. They imported it before May 29th with subsidy on it. Why are we paying for the product in an unsubsidised way? Some people still want a probe into the subsidy regime, and government keeps sweeping it under the carpet. They are only interested in stopping the subsidy, but refuse to tackle the cause of the humongous spending.”

THE WHISTLER gathered that the removal of oil subsidy will save the country over N7.5trn annually.


Show Comments (1)