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President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi - Politics - Nairaland

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President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by chokekachy: 10:06am On Jun 03, 2023
It’s either President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his inner circle didn’t read my April 29 column titled “Six Agenda Items for Tinubu’s Success” or they did but dismissed it as the impractical, high-flown, indulgent musings of an idealistic diasporan Nigerian. The fifth item on my list concerned petrol price hikes amid the current agonizingly biting poverty in the land.

I wrote: “I know that there is now an artfully manufactured consent, particularly among the gilded classes in Nigeria, about the undesirability of ‘fuel subsidy.’ I don’t care what it’s called, but any policy (call it deregulation, subsidy removal, appropriate pricing, etc.) that results in an arbitrary and unbearable hike in the price of petrol without a corresponding increase in the salaries of workers and an improvement in the living conditions of everyday people will sink Tinubu.

“Resuscitating existing refineries and creating conditions for robust private sector investment in building new ones are obvious, well-worn solutions to the existing order, which have been floating around for years. Any serious government would make this happen.

“No responsible government shies away from subsidizing the production and consumption of essential commodities for its people. I have lived in the United States, the belly of the capitalist beast, for nearly two decades, and I can tell you that governments at both federal and state levels heavily subsidize petrol consumption—in addition to agriculture.


“When gas prices increased dramatically a few months ago here, both Joe Biden and state governors granted tax holidays to oil companies so they could lower the cost of petrol. Biden tweeted daily about the reduction in gas prices that his policies enabled. Americans call high petrol prices ‘pain at the pump’ for a reason.

“The surest way for a government to lose legitimacy here is to allow petrol prices to go up without doing anything about it. That’s why America’s 50 states collectively spend $10 billion a year to subsidize petrol consumption.

“I know Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi said they would ‘remove fuel subsidy’—a code for they’ll increase petrol prices— if they’re elected president, but I can assure Tinubu that if petrol price hikes deepen people’s misery, he’ll have a tough time governing.”

America and Nigeria share one thing in common: they both lack a well-developed, subsidized public transportation system. America’s lack of a public transportation system is informed by the rugged individualism of its culture (in my university, for instance, 99 percent of students have their own cars even though the university has an intra-campus shuttle system), the territorial vastness of the country, and the relentless lobbying of airlines and car manufacturers.

Nigeria’s lack of a public transport system, on the other hand, isn’t a choice. It’s a consequence of deliberate neglect by successive governments who don’t give a thought to the comfort and well-being of the poor in society.

Nevertheless, the effect of high petrol prices is similar in both countries: it ignites inflationary conflagrations, wrecks the economy, deepens misery, and inflicts several negative domino effects.

That is why, in America, politicians are often acutely sensitive to fuel price hikes and go out of their way to keep prices low—even at the expense of other priorities. A January 3, 2012, TIME magazine report noted, for example, that American “politicians’ refusal to increase gas taxes in line with inflation and construction costs starves needed infrastructure of funding.”

Sounds familiar? The recurrent excuse governments in Nigeria advance to increase fuel prices is that the government needs money for “infrastructural development.” But no sensible government starves its people to death because it wants to build infrastructure. Only the living use infrastructure.

At N550 per liter, the price of petrol is now officially lower in many states in the United States than it is in Nigeria. Nigerians are now paying nearly the equivalent of $4.70 per gallon of petrol (using the official exchange rate). If we use the black market exchange rate, it’s much higher than that.

In the state of Georgia where I live, the average cost of gas per gallon is $3.4, about a dollar cheaper than it is in Nigeria. Given that the federal minimum wage in Nigeria is still a miserable N30,000 per month, which is equivalent to about $65 per month, I don’t see how this makes sense. Plus, transport fares and the cost of goods have already skyrocketed to unmanageable degrees as a direct result of the new petrol price regime.

[u]But I’ve stopped bothering myself about this. There is now a decided discursive shift in Nigeria in favor of endlessly higher petrol prices. I won’t take Panadol for other people’s headaches. If Nigerians think higher petrol prices are the way to go, or that eliminating subsidies is a bold and commendable decision, so be it.[u]

Even if Tinubu hadn’t been president, the two other alternatives to him said they would “remove subsidies” on “day one,” as Tinubu did. So, Atiku and Obi supporters lamenting Tinubu’s action are being two-faced.

The Nigerian Labour Congress that’s threatening to go on strike to protest the removal of “subsidies” is even more duplicitous. It never opposed Peter Obi, the candidate that ran on its platform, when he espoused extreme neoliberal policies, including saying “fuel subsidy is an organized crime” that he will remove “immediately, if I am elected president.” Had Obi won and removed petrol subsidies, what would NLC have done since it didn’t oppose his manifesto?

In 2016 when Buhari increased petrol prices, his supporters actually came out to protest in support of the increase and against those who were opposed to it. For the first time in Nigerian history, there were no strikes or protests in response to the increase—and subsequent ones. I called it self-annihilating stupidity then.

Perhaps I was wrong. It’s probably better to call it rational stupidity— on the model of “rational ignorance.” Maybe, just maybe, people are tired of the ceaseless elite blackmail that tells them they do not deserve being shielded a little from the negative consequences of the unchecked rapacity of the market.

And this is the cumulative result of sustained government propaganda over the years. People in power have gone on rhetorical overdrives to demonize “subsidy,” to make it into what American scholar Richard Malcolm Weaver, Jr called a “devil term.”

When you demonize a good word, strip it of all its affirmative associations, you prepare uncritical minds to accept actions that are inimical to their own interests. In their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky perceptively show how the ruling elite in the United States contort the English language to blackmail the poor.

Institutional benefits for the poor are ridiculed, and terms like “social welfare” are now invariably said with a tone of disapproval. But welfare packages for the rich and the powerful are called “bailouts” and have a tone of approval about them.

Just like the American ruling elite have deployed the media to demonize “welfare,” the Nigerian ruling elite have also succeeded in manipulating the public into seeing “subsidy” as unalterably bad, as an “organized crime,” to quote Peter Obi.

But what’s wrong with “subsidy”? At its root, subsidy, derived from Anglo-Norman French subsidie (ultimately from Latin subsidium), means “assistance.” In modern usage, it means “a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.” According to Investopia.com, “subsidy is usually given to remove some type of burden and is often considered to be in the interest of the public.” What’s wrong with that?

Up until Muhammadu Buhari came to power, “subsidy” used to be a positive word in Nigeria. In fact, during the 2012 mass revolt against petrol price increase, a protester in Kano inscribed these pithy, profound words on the back of his shirt: “Subsidy is my soul.”

Of course, subsidies are the soul of poor, struggling people, not just in Nigeria but all over the world. Every government in the world, especially in the West, subsidizes basic goods, including petrol and agricultural products.

One of the sneaky ways Nigerian political elites hoodwink people into thinking that subsidies are bad for them is to associate subsidies with corruption. But that’s a false association. There is nothing in subsidies in and of themselves that makes them corrupt. Corruption is incidental to subsidies and can be eliminated if there’s a will to do so.

Jettisoning subsidies because it is riddled with corruption is similar to the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Any government that can’t eliminate corruption and ensure that people who need subsidies get them has no reason to exist. But, apparently, many Nigerians think otherwise. So, let’s see how, to quote J.M Keynes, “the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.”

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02PhMv7jqCqsMa98Mp7YYAafK3mYjWadBtxEiF6CoXmk4JUSZFMKWhc8V93Jz5cfpwl&id=47904265&mibextid=Nif5oz

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by christejames(m): 10:08am On Jun 03, 2023
Subsidy ronu!


I hope Urch1ns are paying 87 naira per litre?

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Burruchaga71(m): 10:22am On Jun 03, 2023
Revolution LOADING

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by amnesty7: 10:23am On Jun 03, 2023
Ok
Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by tommy589(m): 10:31am On Jun 03, 2023
It is either workers not getting paid at the end of the month or removing subsidy

Whatever happens won't stop politicians from enjoying the national cake

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by pandoragirigory: 10:36am On Jun 03, 2023
Tinubu is trying to accelerate good governance, but Nigeria of tribalism and religious sentiments is not ripe for it, he should put some modalities in place to cushion the undesirable effects of high fuel purchase after subsidy

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by richidinho(m): 10:37am On Jun 03, 2023
pandoragirigory:
Tinubu is trying to accelerate good governance, but Nigeria of tribalism and religious sentiments is not ripe for it, he should put some modalities in place to cushion the undesirable effects of high fuel purchase after subsidy

Stop supporting rubbish

Government all over the world are subsidizing basic needs of the people

China provides world record subsidy on cotton for its people

USA subsidize oil, Agriculture, housing, automobiles and health care

What are our govt subsidizing for its people, nothing

The only product you are subsidizing is what you want to remove because you simply have no idea on how to tackle the corruption that has engulf the policy?

If you cant, abeg step down..we have people that can sanitize the system and bring normalcy

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by goodness4ever(m): 10:42am On Jun 03, 2023
We need a President that will empathise with majority of Nigerians. Making a unilateral declaration that 'subsidy is gone' shows a leader not connected with the people. He could have made consultations first; and he could have made palliative measures before making public statements on the issue.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by RacistProudIgbo: 10:44am On Jun 03, 2023
This man no dey tire to write crazy things all the time.

56 Likes 1 Share

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Dougad: 10:47am On Jun 03, 2023
The fools supporting this nonsense are most abundant group of people in this country. Follow follow other people mouth na wetin there Sabi. Ask the idiots to break down the reason for supporting the subsidy removal and you'll see they don't know what they're talking about.

This is how these fools were boldly supporting cashless policy because "it'll prevent politicians from buying votes" without realising the people who would suffer the most is the common man.

These idiots are in support of subsidy removal without working refineries because "politicians won't see subsidy money to chop again" forgetting that the common man would see suffering like never before in this economy. I look everybody laugh.

Instead of these idiots to punish the inadequate politicians that have been on seat without providing working refineries by voting them out and demanding action, they want the common man to bear the consequences of the politicians' inadequacies by shouting "remove subsidy"

As a kid I used to think adults in this country had all the wisdom. As a grown up, I've realized that we're nothing but a country filled with fools with zero critical thinking skills.

With brainless animals at the helm of affairs alongside their supporters, this country will always remain in a cycle of failure

Stupid fûcktards

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Rutherford2019: 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
The truth is that there's no money to run the government except oil price is increased
You can't remove subsidy without first of all removing the people who are into the oil sector lunch a probe and carry out vetting
This Tinubu can never do because they are the people that put him there
That's why Nigeria needs a different breed of which Peter Obi is the answer

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Sunshine34(m): 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
Kperogi with imaginary solutions. It is when you get there first hand that u will know writing is different from fact. SUBSIDY IS A CRIME. Kperogi thinks he's wise. Chioor

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by nairalanda1(m): 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
It is like Kperoggi does not get why subsidy is evil.

The problem with subsides is that here in Nigeria, we don't do what the US does and subsidise production. Instead we spend time subsidising things at the sale point.

So, we sell fuel below what it costs to refine it, and what it costs to transport it. The result...distortions that lead to things like smugging, stealing, looting and corruption.

But here is why subsidy is insidious.....the difference between the production cost and the subsidised cost keeps rising. That adds to the subsidy cost. Then the increase in number of consumers, that also adds on.

Then how are we paying for the subsidy.? We pay for it from oil income...which in Nigeria has never been enough because the price is never high enough (that is why GEJ took loans even when oil prices were high...for those of you who love to crap on that). And oil prices have been low since 2014. Very low. So, we have to borrow to make up the difference...and a large chunk of the money goes to subsidy.

And the more the cost of the subsidy rises...the greater the amount we spend from the budget...till we reach a point where we spend all our revenue on subsidy, borrow to add to money spent on subsidy, and then cover the deficit with more borrowing.

And the more we do that, the worse it gets.

Look, I am aware the poor will suffer when subsidy goes. God knows I know this and hate it, so for anyone quoting me to abuse and call me names, or ask silly questions, or call me government supporter....I know, and it uspets me a lot. But if we keep subsidy, as you will soon see, the poor would suffer even more.

But if we keep the subsidy, we would have reached a point where there would have been no money for things like salaries, projects, etc. And if we were making fuel at home, we would start saving cost by skimping on refinery repair and maintenance....and that's how we lost our 4 refineries...and became net importers, and ended up being at the mercy of cabals....because we wanted cheap fuel.


Anyone advoxcating for subsidy wants us to be as broke as Sri Lanka and Lebanon. So broke that the IMF is literally running things there.


If you want the poor to be helped...remove subsidy. And yes, people would suffer, but when we get better refineries, improved production and more revenue, we would wake up.


And yes, APC has failed. But the fact that we have a devious APC government in charge should not be an excuse to keep subsidy.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by SugarGirl44(f): 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
This one doesn’t get tired of writing rubbish.
Mtcheew.

1 Like

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by datola: 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
Hmm... Mr Kperogi.

Nigeria cannot survive further subsidy payment. America is 1,000 richer than Nigeria and can afford to subsidize

The issue of fixing refineries does not even profer any solution because it will still be sold at market price. And can those refineries ever work again after sinking billions every year in year out.

If I were them FG I would sell off the refineries at any amount offered than be spending so much on it for decades without any positive results.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by KingKO22: 10:48am On Jun 03, 2023
K
Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Melezenawii: 10:50am On Jun 03, 2023
Subsidy is gone for good

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by donbachi(m): 10:50am On Jun 03, 2023
Other countries are turning chickenshit to chickensalad.
Nigeria is busy turning chickensalad to chickenshit.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Goodlady(f): 10:51am On Jun 03, 2023
Smhmm

1 Like

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by dyera(m): 10:51am On Jun 03, 2023
Let fuel subsidy stay removed, let reality dawn on Nigerians that their country is broke and can't afford to subsidize fuel for them.

Now that fuel subsidy has been removed, business owners should start looking at how they can in turn increase the price of their goods and services.

Salary earners should start negotiating with their company to increase their salary after the company should have increased the price of their product or service.

And the federal and state government should also increase the salary of civil servants.

Doing all of these would reduce the suffering of the citizens while fuel subsidy stay removed and the citizens will eventually benefit from it, as the money that would have been borrowed to subsidize fuel would be borrowed to do things that would benefit the masses.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Angelfrost(m): 10:52am On Jun 03, 2023
Bro... Who are you that they should read your piece?!!


Subsidy removal should remain abeg!!!

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Tboymessiah(m): 10:52am On Jun 03, 2023
NasoLifeBe!!!
Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by casualobserver: 10:52am On Jun 03, 2023
Nigeria spends $10b a yr on petrol subsidy, America spends $10b a year on petrol subsidy, are we mates? What kind of a fool is this man? Is America borrowing the $10b for subsidy?

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by RighChannel: 10:53am On Jun 03, 2023
Uurchinmanial and Agbadorians how market, shey you don dey buy petrol @N50/litre now that your drugie master don spend 5 days in office
Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Throwback: 10:53am On Jun 03, 2023
Even if Tinubu hadn’t been president, the two other alternatives to him said they would “remove subsidies” on “day one,” as Tinubu did. So, Atiku and Obi supporters lamenting Tinubu’s action are being two-faced.

The Nigerian Labour Congress that’s threatening to go on strike to protest the removal of “subsidies” is even more duplicitous. It never opposed Peter Obi, the candidate that ran on its platform, when he espoused extreme neoliberal policies, including saying “fuel subsidy is an organized crime” that he will remove “immediately, if I am elected president.” Had Obi won and removed petrol subsidies, what would NLC have done since it didn’t oppose his manifesto?

The plan by all the notable presidential candidates was to remove subsidy immediately.

We are all suffering from the failures of our past leadership.

We can refine locally and determine locally what price is suitable for our own economy, regardless of our neighbouring countries posing as a diversion nuisance due to their own higher prices that would remain attractive to criminal minds.

Alas, the masses will suffer for a problem they did not create.

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Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by Wealthoptulent(m): 10:53am On Jun 03, 2023
Go rest

1 Like

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by WhatIf: 10:57am On Jun 03, 2023
Una don start.......!!!

1 Like

Re: President Tinubu And The Dangers Of Fuel Subsidy Removal - Kperogi by MFORC(m): 10:59am On Jun 03, 2023
Very intelligent analysis

2 Likes

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