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Editorial

THE REASON SUBSIDY ONCE REMOVED IS NEVER BROUGHT BACK

 

 

The global subsidy removal regime, a lessening of government bankrolling of public consumption expenses, has been an endless rule of forced economic policy producing discomforts and crises.

Here in Nigeria, an ill-advised step of removal of petrol subsidy has continued to raise prices of petrol and, thereon, all other commodities.

Government, as always, initially cast a fine prospect of how removed subsidy would take away an undue profiteering advantage from a small class of entrepreneurial elites that provide petrol. The gullible public often believe that the removal would someday stimulate growth in the ailing economy. But, increase of inflation and fierce profit maximization by the said elites and the nation’s further descent toward an economic crash have proved the  arguments to be misconceptions.

The policy decision has enhanced the said profiteering edge by transferring the final decision in petrol pricing to the profiteers. This has caused increases in commodity prices, and income inequality. It has made more difficult the struggle of the working class to get a fair share of the national wealth – as distributed between them and the entrepreneurial elites.

And so, workers, some on the brink of starvation, have endlessly been disposed to compel the government to the negotiation table to reexamine the policy step.

Subsidy removals are things done when the government is spending more than it is getting and is under pressure to cut back on expenditures. It might seem to create a more attractive environment for foreign and domestic investors.

For more than three decades now, government earnings in Nigeria have dropped relative to private profits as successive administrations have relinquished more and more of government money-making means to private individuals. The question is:  Is it still conceivable at this day and age for government to re-establish industries to restore its earnings and sustain its services to the people? Can the removed subsidies on petrol be ever brought back? It may be possible; but not without a wrestling between the government and labour. Any generation of trade unionism that does well in this regard will be remembered as having played a key role in the nation’s recovery from our protracted economic crises.

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