In a press statement on Tuesday in Abuja, Prevail who joined other Nigerians to lend his voice to the lingering debate generated by the fuel subsidy removal as announced by President Bola Tinubu, stated that fuel subsidy is the only project that the government is having a knife drawn on its neck to provide for the teeming Nigerians since 1999.
According to him, successive governments have fought so hard to remove it since 2007, but for the strong resistance of our labour leaders they have not been able to.
“Listen to me, the responsibility of the government is to cater for the welfare if its citizens; but we are not seeing much of that in our country, yet everyone is smiling and moving on with life.
“For the fuel subsidy, it is not so; anytime the government fails to subsidize fuel, there is usually uproar in the country.
“I have critically examined the government’s approach to people-oriented projects, and I have discovered over the years that the only project that our government is duty-bound to provide for its citizens since the advent of democracy in 1999 is fuel subsidy.
“We have seen unmotorable roads being commissioned; even non-existing projects being commissioned in this country. Once there’s no fuel, the whole country is thrown into tumult.
“I wonder why the government is trying so hard to remove fuel subsidies? Is it that they’re tired of being duty-bound to providing fuel to Nigerians at a subsidised rate?
“I have listened to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Dr Mele Kyari; he said government is paying about N400bn monthly to subsidize fuel. He also said the money could have been used for infrastructural development.
“Let me ask, are we lacking infrastructural development because of the monies paid for fuel subsidy? Besides, have we forgotten that fuel subsidy is also a project?”
The Spark News CEO who doubles as the Lead Pastor of House of God Int’l – Rest Tabernacle said the US government spends about $20 billion every year on direct fossil fuel subsidies. Of that figure, around $16 billion goes towards oil and gas, while the remaining $4 billion benefits the coal industry.
According to him, governments in so many countries are subsidising products and services for their citizens to cushion the burden of purchasing them.
He however admonished our government to repair the four ailing refineries in the country before removing fuel subsidy.