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CSOs to convene discuss on subsidy removal

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria operating under the aegis of “Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED) on Thursday in Abuja said, plans were afoot to organise a conference on “Fuel subsidy removal” in Nigeria.

The Coalition which comprised of 82 groups disclosed this at a press conference, stressing that they were committed to pushing for subsidy removal as well as engaging other stakeholders in some sectors of the economy to see reasons with government on need to lay fuel subsidy payment to rest.

Convener of the group, Comrade Yusuf Dan Maitama further said, the proposed theme of the Conference is,
“Subsidy removal and the future of Nigeria’s Economy”, added that there were no better time for total removal of fuel subsidy than now, given the economic challenges the nation was going through.

According to the Coalition, the conference which was slated for Tuesday and Wednesday next week, will take place in Abuja and Lagos, featuring world class resource persons in oil and gas sector in order to refocus activities of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and too, to secure the nation’s resources for its critical mass rather than private pocket benefactors.

The Coalition lamented that fuel subsidy regime which had been in place for the past 20 years has enriched few individuals and denied citizens of what was supposed to be a collective wealth, adding that moves by the present administration to end the subsidy regime was the right step.

Citing further reasons for the conference, the Coalition posited that the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited’s commitment to implementing policy that ensures total removal should be supported at all cost.

The Coalition said: “The fuel subsidy regime has in the last 20 years done more harm than good to the economy of the nation and it appears Nigeria is the only country in the world that has fuel subsidy regime in place.

“We have slated a conference for February 2022 and we are going to assemble top class oil experts to speak on reasons fuel subsidy regime should be put to rest”, the group said.

It is recalled that the Hon. Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed had recently disclosed to the Senate Committee on Finance that the Federal government would offer N5,000 transport grant to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.

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