The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed recently revealed that the strike will only bring more hardship to ordinary Nigerians.
According to him, the 2 necessary price adjustments in the petroleum and power sectors were inevitable due to the dwindling resources as Nigeria battles 60 per cent revenue loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the government can no longer afford the cost of the subsidies, especially under the prevailing economic conditions.
His words, “Revenues and foreign exchange earnings by the government have fallen by almost 60 per cent due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector.
“There is no provision for subsidy in the revised 2020 budget. So where will the subsidy money come from?
“Remember that despite the massive fall in revenues, the government still has to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects,”
“Between 2006 and 2019, a total of 10.4 trillion naira was spent on fuel subsidy, most of which went to fat cats who either collected subsidy for products they didn’t import or diverted the products to neighbouring countries where prices are much higher.
“Instead of subsidy, ordinary Nigerians were subjected to scarcity of petroleum products.
“They endured incessant long queues and paid higher to get the products, thus making the subsidy ineffectual.”
“To keep the industry going, the government has so far spent almost N1.7 trillion especially by way of supplementing tariff shortfalls.
“The government does not have the resources to continue along this path.
“To borrow just to subsidise generation and distribution, which are both privatised, will be grossly irresponsible.”
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