Hardship: Review fuel subsidy removal, Northern forum tells Tinubu

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Arewa Economic Forum has urged President Bola Tinubu to reassess the petrol subsidy policy announced by his administration during the inauguration on May 29, 2023.

The Chairman of the forum, Ibrahim Shehu Dandakata, who said the windfalls from the subsidy removal made available to the governors through increased monthly FAAC allocations had failed to translate to tangible improvements in the lives of the residents.

Dandakata, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said, “We urge President Tinubu to reassess the subsidy removal policy and consider redirecting the additional funds provided to states towards reinstating PMS subsidies.

“Urgent action is necessary if the President is unable to compel governors to be more accountable within the bounds of his constitutional authority”.

He stressed that state governors were the primary beneficiaries of the subsidy removal policy to the detriment of the Nigerian populace.

Dandakata said, “We have observed that the substantial funds available to state governors are not being reinvested to stimulate state economies or utilised to provide relief for the citizens”, adding that the recent increased FAAC allocations notwithstanding, some states have failed to translate these windfalls into tangible improvements in the lives of their residents.

Acknowledging President Tinubu’s pre-election pledge to remove fuel subsidy, Dandakata expressed concern over the unforeseen hardships resulting from this decision.

He emphasised that while the subsidy removal has led to substantial increases in FAAC disbursements to states, its impact on the lives of the masses remains questionable.

Addressing the proposal for state police, Dandakata voiced reservations, citing concerns about potential misuse by governors for political purposes. Instead, he proposed the revival and expansion of the Police Constabulary at the federal level, with states required to provide necessary logistical support for localised policing initiatives.

Regarding the ongoing forex crisis, Dandakata called upon the federal government to demonstrate the political resolve needed to stabilise the Naira’s value against the rising dollar, emphasising that the dollar is not a legal tender in Nigeria.

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