Following the introduction of fuel subsidy removal by President Goodluck Jonathan which has undoubtedly created controversy among Nigerians across the nation due to lack of understanding, the coalition of civil society organization for fuel subsidy removal in the six geo-political zone comprising over 150 groups in the federation has concluded its plans to educate the public on the government policy on deregulation.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Rivers State commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Hon. Okey Amadi, Comrade, Emmanuel Ndubuisi Nkweke, the President General who spoke on behalf of the representatives of the group, supported the government policy on the issue, observing that the removal of fuel subsidy will help to tackle fraudulent tendencies within the oil and gas sectors and prevent unnecessary diversion of paid petroleum products to other neighbouring countries. He said with the policy Nigeria will be paying for its actual consumption and create an environment where more people will invest in the establishment of refineries, forcing down the price of petrol.
Nkweke said it is a deliberate economic programme for the good of all as the accruals from the subsidy will be properly channels towards development projects as promised by Mr. President to the benefit of all Nigerians. This will go a long way to create job opportunities as well help in eliminating government overbearing influences and control the cost of the business, among others.
Comrade Nkweke who described deregulation as the liberation of logistics and pricing of goods and services capable of removing monopolistic control with direct impact towards creating a level playing ground, said it would automatically lead to better efficiency and effective services to customers.
On why the organization trusted President Jonathan on fuel subsidy removal, Comrade Nkweke said it was as a result of his announcing 25% cut in basic allowance of all political offices holders which was an indication of his readiness to fight corruption.
Comrade Nkweke who noted that it is the organizations desire to create awareness on the fuel subsidy removal to the general public said they have concluded plans to embark on senatorial and constituency advocacy programme to educate those at the grassroots on government policies concerning petroleum matters, but required government partnership to achieve it. He demanded for the provision of support services through the media to aid them advance the protection of the rights and privileges of the oil producing communities, provide mobility that will aid advocacy at the grassroots.
In his response, the Commissioner who was represented by Mr. Tony Wokekoro, thanked the organization for their visit and for supporting government on the removal of fuel subsidy.
He noted that the removal of fuel subsidy introduced by president Goodluck Jonathan will go a long way in improving the lives of Nigerians and assured the ministry support to the coalition of civil society organization to activate their desire, adding that he would pass their messages to the Hon. Commissioner who will give them the details of their request. ###
Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor