TUESDAY- 30th November, 2021: The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has described the planned removal of fuel subsidy as bad idea, stating that it may see petrol price sell for between 300 to 400 naira.
The Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had unveiled plans to start paying transport allowance to Nigerians for at least six to twelve months from 2022.
Ahmed stated that the palliative is to relieve citizens from the effect of total fuel subsidy removal which may kick in by the second half of 2022.
The minister lamented that fuel subsidy is costing the country resources that should have been channelled to other sections of importance like education and health.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Mele Kyari, also stated that the price of petrol may rise to ₦340 in 2020, adding that fuel subsidy removal would take effect in 2022.
But in a statement on Monday issued by its Director of Publicity, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the Northern elders said the planned subsidy removal would be a bad idea.
Baba-Ahmed warned that an increase in fuel price would worsen the condition of most Nigerians and increase the standard of living of the citizens.
The NEF spokesman asked President Muhammdu Buhari administration to be patient while making economic and security choices that would affect Nigerians.
The statement read in part: “The forum invites attention to the hardship under which the vast majority of the population lives. Increasing poverty levels and widespread insecurity demand that leaders should exercise extreme caution in taking economic and security-related decisions. An increase in the price of fuel, in particular, will compound the already desperate condition of living of most Nigerians.
“It is important that decisions on this matter include considerations of the interests of the national economy, welfare of the citizen and reactions of a hard-pressed citizenry.”