Why removal of subsidy is justified – Kolawale Johnson

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By Ochogwu Sunday

Nigerian civil rights activist and Head of the Directorate of Research, Strategy & Programmes of the coalition of civil society organisations, Act for Positive Transformation Initiatives, APTI, Kolawale Johnson has declared that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford to continue with the age-long subsidy payment.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had in his inaugural speech on May 29, said the country can no longer sustain the payment of subsidy, declaring it gone.

The development triggered uproar across the country as citizens lamented the astronomical hike in transportation fare and other essential goods and services.

Despite the protests, the presidency had vowed that there was no going back in the removal of fuel subsidy, citing the burden it has on the government.

Speaking on the matter, Mr Kolawole in an exclusive chat with DAILY POST, argued that there would be no better time to remove the subsidy than now.

He ascribed the continuous remittance of the subsidy to oil marketers to the failure of the previous administrations.

He said, “If Obasanjo could not deal with it, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and even Buhari that called it a scam cannot deal with it, then we can say it was the failure of the government that the subsidy persisted till this moment.

“Even the palliatives and other things that needed to be put in place before the removal, we can’t have them now because we don’t have money.

“If we stop the subsidy, maybe the money that should have gone into it in the next three months will be used for palliatives. This is the level we are right now. We don’t even have the money to provide those palliatives unless we borrow again.

“The reality across the world now is that you just have to survive and for you to survive, you need to take hard decisions.”

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