Diverse Reactions Trail Inaugurations Across Nigeria, Citizens Unhappy with Fuel Subsidy Removal

Diverse Reactions Trail Inaugurations Across Nigeria, Citizens Unhappy with Fuel Subsidy Removal

Monday’s declaration by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural address to the nation that fuel subsidy is gone has triggered diverse opinions among Nigerians and has created artificial scarcity of the product. Some marketers have fixed arbitrary pump prices with transporters jerking up cost of transportation and many people having to trek long distances to

Monday’s declaration by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural address to the nation that fuel subsidy is gone has triggered diverse opinions among Nigerians and has created artificial scarcity of the product. Some marketers have fixed arbitrary pump prices with transporters jerking up cost of transportation and many people having to trek long distances to their places of work.

While some persons believe President Bola Tinubu made a mistake aby making the announcement as part of his inaugural address others said that the removal shows the President as courageous and wanting to hit the ground running as promised during the campaigns. But the announcement has doubled and tripled the price of the product across Nigeria and suddenly fuel queues are back.

The NNPC Limited welcomed the decision by the Federal Government to remove subsidies on PMS. Addressing the press, the GCEO of NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari noted that the removal of the subsidy, which has been a burden on NNPC Limited’s cash flow, will free up funds to enable optimal operations within the company.

Reacting to the scarcity already being experienced, he assured Nigerians of a sufficient supply of the product. NNPC Limited is also monitoring all its distribution networks to ensure compliance.

A statement from the President Bola Tinubu media group tried to make some clarifications stating that “the public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration. He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.

“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the Federal Government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.

“Furthermore, President Tinubu was clear about his plans to re-channel the funds previously devoted to the payment of subsidies into better investments that will cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor of the poor. This includes but is not limited to investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and increase their earning potential”.

In his inauguration speech yesterday, President Tinubu announced the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy at the end of June as he promised during his campaign; as a result, many Nigerians have expressed their concerns about the decision.

While many Nigerians are groaning as filling stations are now hoarding premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, which is causing longer fuel queues across Lagos city, some have praised the president’s decision as bold and the right action to take to ease the country’s economic burden.

Upon visiting petrol stations in Lagos and Ogun State, it was noticed that some had already been closed, while the few that had opened had been swarmed by commercial and private vehicles, motorcycles, and tricycles seeking to buy the fuel needed to operate their businesses. It was also discovered that fuel prices have abruptly increased in some of the filling stations from #186 to between #500 and #600.

In an interview with NDR at an Oxfield filling station on Agege Road, a commercial bus driver by the name of Wasiu bemoaned the rise in fuel prices and complained that the sudden shortage has prevented him from working his regular shift because he has been standing in line for more than three hours waiting for the attendants to sell him fuel.

“I was surprised by the sudden fuel scarcity, many filling stations have refused to sell to us, they are locked up. Even this that is opened is not selling yet. After going around for many hours to get fuel that I could not get elsewhere, I decided to stick to this place. I do not know if I will be able to deliver for my shift since I could not start working as early as possible.”

Michael, a tricycle rider who also shared a similar experience, said the announcement of the fuel subsidy has stirred up uncertainties among the citizens, stating how difficult it has been to get fuel to transport passengers to their destinations

“It took me a while before I could get fuel today to work, at point, I had to get a litre at #500, which was frustrating. I do not know how much I will charge per trip that will be commensurate with the high cost of petrol. This is unfair”, he lamented.

In addition to driving up gas prices, the development had an impact on residents who left for work but were unable to get there because there were no vehicles available. Ajayi Nafisat said there was nothing she could do to walk from her house in Toll Gate to Agege, where she works. She further blamed the government for removing subsidy to the detriment of the citizens.

“I have been stranded here since morning, there is no way I will be walking to Agege, where I work. I have been at the park for the past two hours, but I can’t find a bus that will take me to work, the buses available are even charging exorbitantly, and I can’t afford it. This is ridiculous, I think the government did not consider the timing before making such a decision”, she lamented.

Lagos Residents Highlight Expectations from Sanwo-Olu

Meanwhile, following his inauguration as Lagos state governor for a second term, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been urged to continue with his progressive performance in the state

Residents who spoke with NDR responded to the governor’s promises that he would continue to lead the state with transparency and accountability in transportation and traffic management, health and the environment, education, and technology. The governor made these promises yesterday during his inauguration speech.

“I can assure you that our administration will continue to foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and participatory governance”, Sanwo-Olu boasted in his speech.

Highlighting his expectation from Sanwo-Olu’s administration, Mr Olukayode Falayajo, a finance consultant, appealed to the state governor to prioritise the completion of the ongoing projects in the state, noting that it will make the state better than it is presently: “My expectation is for him to build on what he has done so far, We can see various infrastructure projects going on in Lagos, and my expectation is that he should build on that, so that by the time he is going to finish the second tenure, Lagos is going to be in the better place. If you look at the roads in Lagos State, virtually all the local governments in Lagos State have road construction going on. We also have the primary health centers and school construction going on, so I believe if they can finish all of those, Lagos is going to be better than this.

Miss Bamigbade Toyosi, a tech expert, urged the state government to focus on youth empowerment and the provision of adequate jobs in the state by making the state more conducive for the young ones to thrive.

“We are expecting him to do better, where he stopped he should continue because that is the reason why we voted him, he should keep it up. And also, he should consider the youth most important, because we are the key to society. He should empower us more”, she noted.

In a similar vein, a trader Mrs Aolatu Olagunju pleaded with the governor to fund healthcare for the elderly, adding that the governor should give young people jobs so they can care for their parents.

“We are hungry, we do not have food, and as an elderly person, I do not have money to take care of myself, yet our children, who should be helping out, are still unemployed. Since Sanwo-Olu promised us during the campaign that if we voted for him for the second term, he will make life better for us; here would be the provision of drugs at the hospitals; the problem with the high cost of house rent would be brought down, he also promised to provide jobs for our children. We pray that God will help him to fulfil his promise”, she said.

Oyo State in Unrest After Makinde Sacked “Auxillary” as PMS Boss on Inaugurationn Day

Barely 24 hours after his inauguration for the second tenure, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State faced a revolt from the former head of the dissolved Park Management System (PMS), Mukaila Lamidi, also known as Auxilliary, leading to civil unrest in some of the state

Mr Makinde dissolved the PMS as part of his inauguration action, bringing the infamous transportation system headed by Mukaila Lamidi to an abrupt end.

A statement by the state’s newly appointed chief of staff, Segun Ogunwuyi confirmed the development “I have the directive of the State Governor, Makinde to inform you of the dissolution of the disciplinary committee of PMS with immediate effect from Monday, May 29, 2023”, the statement reads.

Subsequently, there has been unrest in the state since the announcement, as the former transport chief was reported to have a face-off with the government and the security agencies to protest against his dismissal

Meanwhile, operatives of the police have raided the Diamond Hotel, Alakia, Ibadan, belonging to Auxiliary, leading to the arrest of some of his supporters who had been allegedly causing unrest in the state. However, police were unable to apprehend the chairman of the dissolved PMS, who had fled after seeing the heavy presence of the police force.

A widely shared video displayed the weapons, including guns, bullets, cutlasses and charms, that the police had taken from his hotel.

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