Nigerian Tribal Leaders Demand End to Fuel Subsidy Extension
Tribal Leaders Urge President Tinubu to Abandon Fuel Subsidy Extension
Tribal leaders from across Nigeria, under the banner of ‘The Natives’, have called upon President Bola Tinubu’s administration to ensure that there is no extension of the current fuel subsidy regime beyond June. The leaders held a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja to express their concerns, stating that no nation can afford to waste over N400 billion under the guise of a questionable business model.
Furthermore, ‘The Natives’ demanded the immediate revocation of licenses belonging to individuals in the oil sector whom they described as “saboteurs” and those involved in hoarding fuel across the country.
President Tinubu had previously announced in his inaugural speech that there would be no provision for fuel subsidy beyond June 2023, declaring, “Fuel subsidy is gone.” However, this declaration has led to fuel scarcity and panic buying throughout the nation.
Smart Edwards, the Supreme Leader of ‘The Natives’ and Executive Secretary of the Petroleum and Energy Related Matters, Civil Society of Nigeria, stressed the need for the new administration to reinvest the subsidy accruals in job creation, the digital economy, healthcare, infrastructure, education, agriculture, and incentives for citizens.
During the press conference, Edwards called on Nigerians to align themselves with the President’s roadmap to national prosperity. He emphasized that ‘The Natives’ would engage meaningfully with President Tinubu to ensure that the country is governed under the rule of law and for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Addressing President Tinubu directly, Edwards stated, “Mr. President, we have heard you loud and clear. The budget you glimpsed before assuming office does not allow for fuel subsidy. Therefore, fuel subsidy is gone. We, as citizens of Nigeria, demanded its removal, and we will not postpone any doomsday. In fact, there is no doom.”
“We requested the removal from every candidate, demanded it from the previous government, and were assured it would not extend beyond June. We formed a coalition for the sector and received the support of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, the NLC, the TUC, the Political Parties, and former President Buhari. We called upon the Ministry of Finance and demanded it from NNPC Ltd. We assembled the Civil Society for it, and we knew it was coming to an end in June. We will not allow anyone to reinstate this sabotage of our livelihoods,” Edwards explained passionately.
Highlighting the economic implications, Edwards added, “No country can consistently allocate N400 billion monthly to benefit a few Nigerians. We fully support this stance, and we agree with NNPC Ltd. Instead, these funds could be invested in the creation of one million jobs, the development of the digital economy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and education.”
‘The Natives’ also urged President Tinubu to take decisive action against any attempt to make life unbearable for citizens by beneficiaries of subsidy or its removal. They called for the immediate revocation of licenses belonging to saboteurs.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is determined to serve. He will make bold decisions, consult widely, and act fairly. We trust that he will reach out to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Peter Obi, and he has already engaged with Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Together, we can build this nation, and the solutions lie within all of us,” concluded Edwards.
As the nation awaits President Tinubu’s response, Nigerians hope that their concerns and demands will be considered for the betterment of the country and its citizens.