After spending about three hours of my very precious time watching the (meaningless???) stakeholders meeting over the fuel subsidy removal issue on Channels TV about two weeks back, I feel really hard done by with the impromptu removal of the same subsidy. I know it hurt most of us (or should I say all the masses) but I’m seriously pained. Looking back at that meeting, I remember telling my friends about the issues I had with it.
First, it exposed our government personnels as people with either extremely low or one-sided (as in the case of Sanusi) intelligence OR dangerously wicked hearts. In fact, it could be a combination of both. The fact that they were allowed so much time to express themselves and they were still unable to convince me (a ‘common man’), much less the highly learned minds that proved points against the plan, says so much. As Sanusi kept ranting about how bad our economy had become and how it was going to fail, backing it up with international facts while also asking agonisingly, “Are you in this world?”, I asked only one question, is the removal of a non-existent ‘subsidy’ the solution? A lot of stories are out there about stolen monies by political thieves, misplaced funds by the government, unnecessary expenses and a lot more that if cut down or retrieved, will save our economy many times over! Now, the ‘intelligent’ Sanusi is crazily hammering on N1.3trl ‘subsidy’ that will crash our economy before we know it. Did these guys ever even try to explain how it is that the ‘subsidy’ grew to that point?
Another issue from the meeting is the brainless comparison with the telecoms sector, I mean, that’s absolute madness!!! Now, I won’t even comment on the obvious rip-off of the populace by these telecoms companies till tomorrow, that’s a topic for another day. If I recall very well, the deregulated telecoms sector was well into its third year before I bought my first SIM card and I got my first phone the following year. I didn’t pay more for food or transportation because I didn’t have a SIM or a phone. Many of us waited out the early expensive phase without any stress with only a privileged few jumping in at the first rush. Comparing that with an essential commodity that, whether we want it to or not, affects our everyday life is absolutely baseless and senseless. And to think that this was the golden point on which there ‘subsidy removal’ plan was hinged actually scares one about the actual intentions of the group behind it. Is this how shallow their thoughts are or do they just assume that we’re idiots??!!
We all are already well educated on the subsidy issue by now so there’d be no need to start stating all the obvious facts. What I’d really like to back up is how wicked these government officials are. During the early days of the ‘subsidy removal’ proposal, a lot of facts started popping up and one that caught my eye was an article on Sahara Reporters by Farooq Kperogi. The link to the full article is here. The article explained how this wicked government negotiated with a rogue Dutch company to refine our oil and send back dirty refined oil (unusable in Europe) which is killing the people and their cars at the same time. The contract was worth $3bn while it would only take $1bn for the repairs of our existing refineries (according to the article.) Now, how and where do we factor in all these to support the removal of ‘fuel subsidy’? It is clear that they were just selling us poison to eat and are now smacking us right in the face while forcing us to pay more! We can’t sit down and take this trash!!!
Sometimes I try to overlook all the obvious issues that prove the non-existence (or illegality) of fuel subsidy, and I think in the direction of accepting the reality of its existence. Then I ask, if fuel subsidy truly exists and the FG is claiming some faceless cabal is getting fat off it, then shouldn’t the government take steps to ensure that the misuse of the subsidy is promptly dealt with? Is it really that difficult to trace accounts and find out how such a huge amount is really being spent? Now, let’s say that’s ‘impossible’ and, inevitably, subsidy had to be cancelled, a government sensitive to its people’s needs would normally create a buffer to take in the resultant effects of the removal (ignoring the repair of our refineries, which will clearly solve our problems.) If the government is so weak that it cannot deal with the fraud in the use of subsidy and, therefore concludes that the only way is to cut off the source to deal with the corrupt forces, then it shouldn’t punish the common man along with the thieving elite. Normally, common sense knows that the pain will be inflicted more on the masses via transportation which will ripple to other everyday necessities thereby killing off the struggling majority. Hence, buffers should have been created (in any way possible, Ben Bruce’s idea is just one out of many) to keep the expenses of the poor at the normal level before they can even think of any removal. But our crazy government decided to give us a New Year surprise, in essence killing off any little faith I might have had (in my softest mode) in the project. It simply shows how untrustworthy this particular plan is, if they can force it on us without any prior warning. And in line with the ‘cabal stories’, the government is, in essence, asking us to keep feeding the cabal ourselves as with or without subsidy, these guys will be making the same amount. I’m yet to understand how the ‘cabal’ is meant to just disappear with the removal of ‘subsidy’. I won’t even bother getting to the issue of how the ‘subsidy gains’ are going to be spent. That’s a non-issue as we’re already being robbed by the cruel masterminds, which means sitting back and watching what they’ll do with the money is not an option!
This post is just meant to add my voice to the already bulging list of awareness campaigns. I know I’m not saying anything new but they need to know that we’re more educated and enlightened than they think. They need to know that we will resist any form of suffering forced down our throats this time around. They need to know this country belongs to us and not to them! I was going to put in the involvement of an international cartel that is actually making all these things happen (including the Boko setup) and possibly why, but that will be a post for another day and, hopefully, with a lot more facts than I presently have. It still looks like one of the many conspiracy theories but as with most of the recent conspiracy theories, there’s enough truth to make one afraid for the future.
Writing this is a necessity at the moment as we plan to take back our country from our barbaric rulers (not leaders), and I will encourage every one of us to do all we can to ensure we see this through. As a wrap-up, I’ll like to explain to those of us who think this will be just ‘one of those struggles’ why this is different and why something will give one day whether we plan it or not. First off, those that will feel the immediate direct impact are low income earners, who are a majority on their own. Imagine a man earning N30,000 (and that’s on the high side in the majority), spending about N600 daily on transport (not considering that he’s married or has kids.) That’s N18,000 a month. Taking out taxes and other inexplicable cuts actually reduces his pay to about N28,000 which means he has N10,000 to spare, which he still tries to get by with. Although, he ends up borrowing to support himself at some point but he still gets by. Now at N141 per litre fuel and, consequently, double transport costs, he is potentially looking at N36,000 a month as a reality which means he can’t even get himself to work successful on his pay (since companies would never pay any salary increase because of subsidy removal.) So, with time, he ends up getting sacked due to inconsistency, not forgetting that he would not even be able to feed himself before that. This is one of the brightest scenarios among the struggling poor. When will frustration not push people out on the streets? The fact is, if we don’t fight now, we will fight later, however disorganized it will be then, because it will boil down to only two options: die quietly in your homes or die fighting to make things right. And even if we endure the first option for a while (as the regular Nigerian mentality says we will), we will wake up to the second sooner or later. The truth is, the earlier we occupy and plan a controlled take-over, the better for us. I will repeat again, this will NOT be the same as our previous struggles, I assure you. So erase the thought from your heads and see that either way we have only one option: OCCUPY & MAKE THINGS RIGHT!!! This is the harsh reality!
I hope as we read this, we are able to see reason to join the struggle and get the political machine to stand still and realise that we’re in control. Let’s make this happen guys! This is our “YES WE CAN”!!! Thank you for taking time out to read.