An NGO, the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Advocacy (LEAD) Network Africa, has hailed the Federal Government for suspending the proposed total fuel subsidy removal.
The Federal Government after recent hours-long meeting with leaders of organised labour suspended the proposed total removal of fuel subsidy.
The Executive Director of the LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, told NAN in Enugu on Wednesday that the suspension of the removal of fuel subsidy “is a welcome development”.
Okenwa said that the decision had helped to avert the imminent hardship on the poor masses.
“It will have been an ill-advised move to remove the subsidy in a time where the misery index, which is a total of massive unemployment rate plus the high inflation rate is biting hard on the nation.
“The removal of subsidy was recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a strategy to conserve funds for critical investments into health, education and infrastructure etc.
“But, it should be noted that the impact of subsidy removal on already impoverished citizens will undermine the rational for such investment, especially in a case where we have an alternative.
“The alternative in this is to fix our refineries and invest more into the building of modular refineries to aid local production.
“With that we can be sure that the needless importation of refined crude products will be stopped.
“And if that happens, where then is the essence of subsidy payments and subsidy-related frauds?”
Okenwa urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency tackle the incidence of corruption, which had led to the forfeiture of nation’s refineries as top priority.
“The need for political-will in getting this done has never been more needed than at this point in time,” the executive director said.