The ruling party in Nigeria, All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s move to increase petrol, electricity was for the betterment of Nigerians. The party further advice Nigerians to endure the pain for now and enjoy later. In a statement signed by Yekini Nabena, its deputy national publicity secretary, on Tuesday, the political party said the benefits of the reforms will be obvious to all soon.
“APC is not oblivious of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates. We urge Nigerians to endure now and enjoy gains soon,” the political party said. “The reviews are crucial and hard thought decisions by government. On the positive side, the short and long-term benefits on the citizenry and our national life will become obvious and directly felt in critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and social services targeted at the poor.”
APC said the current administration’s focus is to improve local refining capacities, electricity and service delivery while also protecting vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing. “We call on all stakeholders, government at all levels, private sector organizations, labour unions, civil societies, students and youth groups to support governments decision on the ongoing deregulation exercise as the citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
“We urge stakeholders, particularly the organised labour such as the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) not to be hoodwinked by skewed opposition party narratives on the deregulation exercise and electricity tariffs. “The same partisans have failed to account for and return trillions of naira stolen from national coffers in the guise of subsidizing fuel and the degrading of the electricity sector under their watch despite huge allocations and subsequent theft of the resources meant to improve the sector.”
Various groups, including labour unions, have kicked against the federal government’s decision to halt electricity and petrol subsidies. They argue that the timing is not right given that jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Timipre Sylva, the minister of state for petroleum resources, says the country will save N1 trillion annually from fuel subsidy removal that can be used to improve the lives of Nigerians.