As fuel queues continue to grow across the country, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed has stated that it has no intention of removing fuel subsidies. The minister went on to say that the situation for such a decision does not yet exist. This was at a briefing on the 14th of April, 2019 held at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the international Monetary Fund. According to Nigerian FG, the condition rather calls for provisions of alternative cushioning measures in line with mutual agreements between stakeholders in order to continue to protect Nigerian citizens.
The government’s position was in response to the often repeated call by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Nigeria’s government to completely get rid of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol. However, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), at the weekend, frowned on this advice by the IMF. The two bodies, NUPENG and PENGASSAN disagreed with IMF and appealed to Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to ignore all such policy as requested by IMF as, according to them, the policy is inimical to Nigerian citizens as this call would contribute to the scarcity of petroleum products across states in Nigeria.
IMF advice on subsidy removal was ignored by President and NUPENG
A joint statement made by the General Secretary of NUPENG and its counterpart in PENGASSAN Afolabi Olawela and Lumumba Okugbawa respectively, went further to warn IMF. It said that the IMF statement has caused panic buying and hoarding of petroleum across the country, which ultimately increased the price of petrol in Nigeria. The statement praised Nigeria’s recent progress in terms of the growth in its Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) which increased by 1.9 percent in 2018 from 0.8 percent in 2017. This was due to improved manufacturing and economic policies of the government.
The panic of increased fuel price exacerbates the situation across the country
The General Secretaries lamented that IMF is not considerate towards the pains Nigerians went through in achieving the acknowledged gains of 2018, even as almost two-thirds of the world’s hungriest people live in Nigeria.
“One wonders why IMF is still callously and wickedly advising the government to inflict more pains and harm on the people? Imposing more stringent reforms in domestic revenue mobilization, including among others, increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), and securing more domestic oil revenues through subsidy removal at this time is clearly an attempt to destabilize the nation. This statement is embellished and loaded with poisons, considering the antecedents of IMF in our economic challenges and struggles over decades of our nationhood. The various devaluations of our currency on the strength of advice from the same IMF has been a very big burden on our nation for several years now.”
Frequent hikes in petrol price and sporadic scarcity has made many Nigerian drivers opt more and more for fuel economy cars as an answer to the situation.
>>> Get auto and transportation developments as they break on Naijauto news