Fuel price in Nigeria recently jumped further to nearly N700 a litre. This sounds unbelievable but that is the reality of the situation. Continuous astronomical rise in the price of premium motor spirit, PMS, or petrol as it is commonly called, has been the trend since the APC administration of President Bola Tinubu came on board on May 29, this year. No thanks to the perceived hasty removal subsidy on petrol by the Tinubu administration even before stepping into the presidential office.
Prior to the exit of the Muhammadu Buhari administration this year, the pump price of fuel stood at about N165 per litre.
All over the world, countries offer their citizens one from of subsidy or the other.
civilised nations offer their citizens some of social security system that offers safety net to her citizens.
This perhaps explains why Thomas Jefferson held that “the care of human life and happiness is the only legitimate object of good government.” Jefferson’s submission is not quite different from the postulations of the utilitarians who are citizens’ welfare and happiness as the essence of government.
Sadly, , the prevailing situation in Nigeria vis-a-vis the hasty removal of the subsidy on petrol by the administration of President Bola Tinubu, and the resultant astronomical rise in prices of not only fuel, but virtually all other goods and services in the country, seems to negate or rubbish these time-honoured statements.
The United Kingdom is said to offer unemployment benefits, housing benefits and income support for low income earners. Even countries with the highest number of refineries like the U.S, China, Russia, among others, still reportedly subsidise petrol for their citizens.
Nigerians, especially, the middle class and low income earners, are going through some of the worst economic times in the annals of the country.
To many, present economic situation in Nigeria made worse by the subsidy removal action of the present federal government can be compared to what could be seen in a war situation.
The federal government has always claimed that subsidy is expensive and mired in corruption. But questions are being asked as to why the government cannot fight the gargantuan monster of corruption it claims has bedevil fuel subsidy administration.
If the federal government claims subsidy is expensive, then why can’t it fix or privatise the existing refineriee?
How can the present APC administration of Tinubu justify the excruciating economic misadventure the country has inadvertently embarked upon?
This palpable economic situation seems to be compounded by the insensitivity of some state governors who do not seem to have any meaning welfare programmes for the citizens of their states.
As the naira continues to fall flat against the dollar and other foreign currencies, and prices of goods and services consistently skyrocketing on a daily, it has now become expedient for the authorities of the federal government to halt the on-going experiment since it has so far proved economically fatal.
Sharing of ad hoc palliatives has not really helped matters. So, an immediate policy reversal is strongly suggested here; possibly a return to the status quo prior to May 29, 2023. The needs to be done with the urgency of now.
Fact is that there is a limit to the extent hapless Nigerians can endure the present suffering, and it seems they are approaching to that limit.