Energy remains a serious issue in many parts of the world. In the United States for instance, energy is one issue that can make or mar a political party during elections.
This was the case during the November 2022 in Nigeria’s midterm elections that saw the Republicans snatch majority in the House of Representatives.
To say that the Nigerian economy has been on the road to Golgotha since the announcement of the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, is simply stating the obvious.
Tinubu’s subsidy removal policy at the birth of current administration barely four months ago, has widely been blamed for the raging energy crisis in the country, evident in the ever-rising price of petrol, with the concomitant increase in transport fares and prices of goods and services across the nation.
This is made worse by the recent rise in the international price of crude oil to $90 per barrel (as the country still relies on imported petrol), coupled with the consistent free fall of the naira against the dollar and other foreign currencies.
Many Nigerians are experiencing severe hardship with no end in sight even in the nearest future. The country apparently stands at a critical crossroads, with businesses reportedly shutting down due to the relentless surge in fuel costs amidst poor power supply.
Clearly, the impact of Tinubu’s ending of the fuel subsidy regime on the economy and the lives of ordinary citizens, has been severe and demand immediate attention action.
We strongly think and reiterate our earlier call for an immediate return to the subsidy regime. This in our view, remains the most pragmatic step to take in the present circumstance atleast, to halt the current drift in the economy as well as the excruciating hardship imposed on the citizenry.
Nigerians do not deserve to continue in this kind of punishment and hopelessness.
After all, many countries of the world provide one form of subsidy or the other for their citizens.
“There is nowhere in the world where there is no subsidy,” Umar Mohammed, an economist reportedly working in a multi-national company in the United States was quoted as saying.
Interestingly, the countries with highest number of petrol refineries like United States, France, Russia among others, still spend huge amounts subsidising fuel for their citizens.
Why then should the case of Nigeria be different?