Fuel Subsidy Removal and the Tough Economic Situation in the Country

It’s been a couple of days now and the rate at which Nigerians are talking on social networks about fuel subsidy removal and the current difficult economic situation in the country is still on the rise. With respect to that, I found this write-up interesting and worthy of reading by Dr Ibrahim Idris of the faculty of science, Bayero University, Kano and the Nigerian blogger Dr Aliyu U. Tilde. 

I still believe and trust that PMB is a leading figure among the present defenders of the common man. He is however, up against a powerful cabals, mafias, world economic gladiators and all sort of bigots. Coupled with fervent prayers, we should give him some helping hands to at least lead us out of the doldrums. PMB may not be our last bastion of hope, sincerity and integrity but he is a force to reckon with any day as per the aforementioned are concerned.

– Ibrahim Idris

It is unfortunate that attempts are made to silence the voice of reason by the President’s supporters. The good thing is that strike or no strike, we will collectively pay for the price, supporters and opponents of the fuel price hike alike. In acca za ta sha rana, matankadin mazai sha.

IMF, World Bank and the West generally will never be on our side. They depend on our resources to survive. Our economic relationship with the West has been in inverse form for the past 400 years. There is nothing to convince me that it has suddenly changed, no matter how many times Cameron receives Buhari.

The Naira will soon be devalued, as hinted by Sahara Reporters, to N280 per dollar and VAT increased from 5% to 15%, in a country where nothing works and corruption in public service is the norm. IMF has demanded it as a condition to giving its $3 billion loan. That is the same N280 figure that was used to arrive at N145/liter of petrol as contained in Osinbajo’s defence of the subsidy removal debate.

Hard working citizens will be robbed of their earnings and officials will continue with their usual theft and opulence. Our good Buhari cannot stop them. He must have realized that now. If he could, he would not have gone to the IMF. Past governors alone can yield more than he needs. But they are working free. The trial of Saraki alone is taking ages and tells a lot about the weaknesses of our judicial system. That is the system we have in place today. It supports corruption and the President can do little about it, no matter the rhetoric. The Senate will not change the rules to the detriment of most of its members.

More tax and inflation inducing measures like devaluation and hike in fuel price without any subsidy even in agriculture in a corrupt country like Nigeria can only result in one thing: more poverty, more poverty and more poverty, beyond the present 70%. The present minimum wage of $90 per month will in the end be reduced to the value of $45 or less. But surely, there will be a lot of money raked from common citizens to finance the lavish lifestyle of the political class – from the President down to the councillor. As for the common man who is not enjoying even the minimum wage and not even a bag of fertilizer for his farm, his life will be continue to be unbearable. 

Poverty in turn cancels other things – education is one of them – and breeds other ills – like crime and the insurgency that we are just coming out of. And write it: This will not be the last hike in fuel price. The Naira will continue to fall and the need for an upward review of fuel price will soon and always be there, ad infinitum. It has happened many times in the past 42 years. The old gramophone plate of benefiting masses will be played again.

So in the end, one wonders who actually benefits from these measures. We are just banking on promises and promises – that the President will deliver. With the corrupt officials and politicians, one must learn not to squander his hopes.

Meanwhile, take your bearings from the mood of the marketers, whose two renown members, the Minister and his godfather, TYD, directs policy matters on petroleum. The marketers are happy like never before. But I f you see hyaenas rejoicing, be rest assured that the sheep is in trouble.

That is the British model of subjugation. It works by corruption and defending it through corrupt officials and institutions. The crude French does it directly from day one through the terms on which they gave independence to their colonies. All the national earnings of our Francophone brothers – except Guinea Conakry – are in the central bank in France and they cannot spend a penny or enter into any contract with any other nation without its approval. It prints and determines their currency. It approves their budget, every year.

The issue here is not Buhari the person at all. It is the same old West versus us. I have never been comfortable with his romance with these suckers. Neither am I comfortable with their praises of him. In ka ga kura na yabon dan maraki, cinye shi za ta yi.

May God have mercy on the darling of my heart, the Buhari of 1984-85. He is gone. He was full of energy and stood against them. He refused to devalue the Naira and was ingenious enough to get round the problem. The West and its stooges brought him down as they brought down Murtala when they could not bend him. I thought that Buhari was still around. Now I understand that he is no more. They kept his body but replaced his spirit with another one.

When they realized that they cannot prevent the trust that the common man has for the new Buhari, they courted him again and again. They have now come forward to use his position to achieve what they could not even achieve during Abacha, Obasanjo, Umaru and Jonathan.

May God forgive the present Buhari that has found himself amidst APC wolves and the corrupt governors that are eager to get the money to squander, seeing that present oil proceeds cannot satiate their greed. He does not have the free hand of the military leader of his old self. These wolves, as reported, surrounded him and pressed him into conceding to increase in fuel price, devaluation of the Naira and other measures stifling to the life of the common man. He ran and ran against such a day, but he could not run forever. No excuses now, though. As President, he knows, he must shoulder the responsibility. May God forgive him.

May the souls of past defenders of the common man like Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, Malam Aminu Kano and General Murtala Muhammed continue to live in peace. The common man will continue to suffer in your absence. Crass capitalism, IMF and the World Bank are having a field day in your beloved country. We miss you today.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde


Between Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Goodluck Jonathan

Hello folks! I found this article amusing. It keeps one going on and on and on until the end of the corruption-concerned situation. Enjoy reading it now, feel bad later…

If Jonathan is not arrested, President Buhari’s fight against corruption is just window dressing! please read:
Sanusi, as central bank governor, had written to former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 to raise the alarm over billions of dollars from oil sale not remitted to the federation account.
Sanusi was later suspended as CBN governor but he became emir of Kano while he was in court seeking that his suspension be declared illegal.
The emir of Kano revealed that Jonathan did nothing until former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote his own letter.
Amaechi on Wednesday night confirmed to TheCable that he was the one that leaked the letter “because the corruption was simply too much”.
Narrating the $20 billion saga to Forbes Africa, Sanusi said that in 2012 and 2013, government revenue collapsed by $10 billion, without a collapse in oil prices or production capacity, adding that the CBN found a $49 billion revenue gap.
Shocked at the revelation, Sanusi said he wrote Jonathan, saying: “If this continues, we are going to have a big problem if the price of oil came down. We can’t protect interest rates, we can’t protect exchange rates, we can’t protect reserves.
“We may have to tighten money to prevent inflation, there will be unemployment, government will suffer – all of the things we are seeing today.
“In the middle of all these, the president called me and said I should see him at 3pm. I turned up at 3pm and the entire place had been swept. There was no one apart from security services. I got to his office, it was just me and him. It was as if everybody had been asked to go.
“And so he says to me, he’s calling me because he is surprised that letter I wrote to him got to Obasanjo, I said I’m surprised too.
“He said he’s convinced that the letter went from the central bank to Obasanjo, and I had 24 hours to find who leaked the letter or sack somebody; the director who prepared the letter or my secretary and if I did not sack them, that was proof that I leaked the letter and therefore, I should resign.
“I said to him that I’m surprised that I’m being asked to resign for raising an alarm over missing funds and the minister in charge of the portfolio is not being asked to resign.
“From then I knew I had signed my equivalent for death warrant. But I said I was not resigning. He got very angry and said whether you like it or not, you’re going to leave that office, I cannot continue to work with you, either you or I will leave government.”
“I was amused that leaking the letter is far more crime than leaking money. I went straight to the office of the principal secretary to the president, and I met him with a gentleman from Kano, who was foreign minister Ambassador Aminu Ali.
“I said to them, gentlemen, I’m coming to you because I just had a meeting with the president, and there were no witnesses, and the president had threatened me.
“I repeated what happened and told them I am going to tell people close to me, if anything happens to me, it is the president.
“I don’t think I was really in fear of my life. Even if you don’t like someone – Jonathan was not the kind of person that would have someone killed. He wasn’t that kind of leader.”
“I remember Ben Murray Bruce, who is now a senator, coming to me to say that he had it on good authority that if I went to the senate with my documents, I would be removed, investigated and imprisoned.
“Then I said, why would I be imprisoned, and he said, you know, you’ve worked in government. I have worked in government, if people really want to find something on you, in the central bank, five years, they would come and look, they would find something.
“I was like they would find it if I have done it. I mean they can plant something, but if haven’t done it, maybe somebody under me had done something that I wasn’t aware of.
“But in all my years at the central bank, to the best of my knowledge, I had done nothing that should put me in prison. However, I said to him, tell the president, from me, that if the punishment for going to the senate is prison, he doesn’t need to go through all of that, just ask him to tell me what prison he wants me to go to and for how many years, I’d drive myself there.”
Sanusi said nothing was done until Obasanjo wrote his famous open letter to Jonathan. In that letter, he now referred to a letter from the central bank governor.
“This was in August 2013, the president received the letter and did nothing. A few weeks after that, the finance minister called to say, governor, can we do some reconciliation on oil revenue numbers? I said minister, I report to the president.
“I have written to the president, if the president wants me to sit with you and do reconciliation, the president will tell me.
“After Obasanjo’s letter, all hell now broke loose. The letter was then leaked to online media, and it became public. That was when the president got angry and we then had to sit and do reconciliation.
“I knew that taking on NNPC was taking on the most powerful minister in Jonathan’s government, and nobody who had touched Diezani had survived. It was not a question of what would happen, I just didn’t care at that time. I did not want to go down in history as having seen this and kept quiet.
“After the first round of reconciliation, there was $29 billion that was explained. And how was that explained? Crude that was shipped by NNPC did not entirely belong to NNPC.”
He said some oil companies paid taxes and royalties in oil, and the NNPC sold this oil on behalf of FIRS, meaning FIRS got the money and not necessarily the federal government.
“No reasonable explanation for $20 billion, $6 billion was with NPDC that had not gotten to the federation account till date.”