Fuel Subsidy Removal: Arewa Group Gives FG 10 Days Ultimatum to Address Hunger in Nigeria
By: Femi Mustapha
A group under the auspices of Arewa Citizens Watch for Good Governance (ACWGG) has expressed dismay over the escalating PMS fuel prices in Nigeria and growing hunger in the country, which has led to increasing cases of petty theft and unusually high mortality in our region.
This was contained in a statement by the Chairman, Aliyu Sani, and made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
In view of this, the group gave the government 10 days to address the hunger facing Nigerians, or they will have no other option than to lead hungry, depressed, and frustrated Nigerians to a massive civil and peaceful protest to ensure that their demands are achieved.
The group, which is advocating for good governance, also calls for the immediate removal of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kolo Kyari, for misleading President Tinubu into removing PMS subsidy without provision of palliative measures.
ACWGG further calls for a comprehensive investigation into the subsidy regime and the corruption allegations within the oil and gas sector, as evidenced by the suspicious drop in daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the astronomical rise in the general revenue of the country.
“The recent increase in NNPCL’s output, without a corresponding investment in the Company, has instead exposed the pervasive corruption within the sector.
“We find it alarming that the Company was declaring the paltry production volume, which falls short of our OPEC quota, even though the country has not recorded any major disaster.
“The criminals in the Oil and Gas Sector are only responding to the body language of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed’s Zero Tolerance to bad governance; hence, the magical performance by people desperate to keep their offices.
“This raises serious doubts about the integrity and competence of the current leadership at NNPCL.
“ACWGG firmly believes that the Nigerian people deserve better. As a nation blessed with abundant natural resources, it is only fair that the benefits of these resources are felt by all citizens, not just a select few.
“The mismanagement and corruption within the oil and gas sector have hindered economic growth and contributed to the financial burden faced by ordinary Nigerians.
“We expect the administration to go after those that have benefited from the opaque Subsidy aspiration just as Nigerians are born with the hardship induced by the sudden removal of the subsidy. Our people cannot continue to die of hunger, while the people that put in the situation that warranted the removal of the subsidy continue to enjoy the privileges of their offices.”
The group expressed its strong disapproval of the reported plan to re-award the pipeline surveillance contract to Tompolo, a move that we consider detrimental to the capacity of the Armed Forces to curtail internal and external aggression.
“It equally shows that corruption and money for the boys show that granting such a contract to individuals with questionable backgrounds raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and the fight against crime.
“We urge the President to stop this forthwith and instead prioritize using the money for the contract to fund our Armed Forces to deal with oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
“We are aware that the stoppage of the contract will lead to the emergence of activities of Militants. ACWGG wishes to call upon the Nigerian Military to take swift and decisive action to crush any form of anarchy.
“We stand firmly against the activities of militants that threaten national security and impede the progress of our great nation. The safety and well-being of all Nigerians are of paramount importance, and we urge the security forces to maintain law and order while protecting the rights and dignity of every citizen.
“ACWGG, on behalf of concerned citizens, reiterates the demand for the immediate removal of all heads of NNPCL, Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Upstream Regulatory Authority, and all heads of NNPCL subsidiaries.
“We wish to call upon the relevant authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the corruption allegations within the oil and gas sector and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
“The Nigerian people deserve a transparent and efficient energy sector that works in their best interests. This cannot be done with them on the saddle. The CBN and EFCC templates should be replicated here.
“We urge the government to prioritize good governance, promote transparency, and foster an environment that is conducive to the growth and development of Nigeria. Our group remains committed to monitoring the actions of public officials and will continue to advocate for the rights and welfare of all Nigerians.
“We also wish to call all State governors and the Federal government to quickly roll out palliatives, as our members are dying of hunger, as most of them were unable to farm due to the activities of bandits and cannot afford to buy expensive food in the markets.
“We wish to also call on other Civil Society Organisations to commence mobilization of members to protest against the artificially induced hunger and high-cost living in our country,” the statement reads.