Fuel Subsidy: Between President Tinubu And Attention-seeking Chalatans, By Gidado Ibrahim

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The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration has been at the forefront of fuel subsidy reforms, a move that has been met with resistance from looters of the Nigerian treasury. Right thinking Nigerians of goodwill have not stopped applauding him for his boldness. Despite the progress made, some individuals have chosen to spread misinformation and criticise the government’s efforts.


Who doesn’t know that these endless tantrums, rantings and mischiefs are the hangovers of last year’s electoral defeats for which they have refused to concede more than a year after Nigerians bestowed their confidence in Asiwaju through the ballot.


The political con artists and charlatans have failed to realise that politics is a game of ideas in which superior ideas prevail. Politics should be left at the level of fair debates instead of do or die affair. In other climes, politics does not degenerate to sabotaging the ship of state.


As John Maxwell aptly puts it, “Those who can, do! Those who can’t; complain!” It is easier to criticize than create, and critics are rarely problem solvers. Failed politicians and attention seekers have reduced themselves to mere information bouncers, jumping at every opportunity to revive their dead political aspirations.


The recent claim that Nigeria still pays subsidies and will spend N5.4 trillion on them in 2024 is a clear example of misinformation. President Tinubu has been clear about the parasitic role of fuel subsidy on the nation’s economy and has taken steps to address it.


Instead of dissipating energy on baseless, inconsequential and diversionary issues, I think these never-do-well politicians should have beamed their searchlight on Tinubu’s huge transformation of the oil sector. But you see, whatever the president does is bad because one of their real motives is giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.


The effects of oil subsidy on the Nigerian government’s finances are significant, including reduced revenue, increased fiscal burden, and encouragement of overconsumption and wasteful usage. The subsidy regime had also been plagued by corruption and leakages, depriving the government of revenue.


President Tinubu’s administration has been working to reform the subsidy regime, scaling up the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and gradually removing subsidies to promote sustainable resource use. In this regard, the president empowered and gave marching orders to the Nigerian Navy, which has since made significant strides in maritime security, anti-piracy operations, and oil theft crackdown, resulting in increased oil production levels and improved revenue.


Before Tinubu assumed office, Nigeria had already become a subject of mockery because it couldn’t meet her daily OPEC production quota of 1.8mbpd due to vices in the sector. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an organization of which Nigeria is a ranking member, enables co-operation of leading oil-producing countries in order to collectively influence the global oil market and maximize profit. It was founded on September 14, 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members.


Today, evidence is the end of arguments, many thanks to President Tinubu who have invested heavily in the Nigerian Navy. These efforts have transformed Nigeria’s oil production, making it a significant player in the global energy market. The reduction in illegal refining and oil spills has also improved environmental and socio-economic conditions in the Niger Delta region.


Under Tinubu’s visionary leadership, the Nigerian Navy has made tremendous strides in maritime security, anti-piracy operations, and the crackdown on oil thieves. The Navy’s innovative strategies, leveraging technology, intelligence, and collaboration, have yielded impressive results.


Notably, Nigeria has increased its oil production levels to an average of 1.57mbpd, including condensates, in Q1 2024, up from 1.55 mbpd in Q4 2023. This significant improvement is a testament to the Navy’s commitment to protecting the nation’s economic assets and improving revenue.


The Navy’s special amphibious operations have resulted in the recovery of over 62,000 barrels of crude oil and nearly a million liters of illegally refined diesel, petrol, and kerosene, valued at approximately 10 billion Naira. The dismantling of illegal refining sites, arrest of suspects, and seizure of vessels and equipment used for oil theft have significantly reduced illegal refining and oil spills, positively impacting the environment and communities in the Niger Delta region.


The successes recorded in March 2024, including the discovery and dismantling of illegal refining sites, seizure of stolen crude oil and illegally refined products, and arrest of suspects, demonstrate the dedication and bravery of the Nigerian Navy personnel.


President Tinubu’s leadership and the Nigerian Navy’s efforts have transformed Nigeria’s oil production, making it a significant player in the global energy market once again. The country’s increased oil production and LNG export cargoes are a testament to the effective collaboration between the government and the Navy. The reduction in illegal refining and oil spills has also improved the environmental and socio-economic conditions in the Niger Delta region.


The Nigerian Navy’s achievements under President Tinubu’s administration are a shining example of what can be accomplished through effective leadership, collaboration and dedication to protecting the nation’s interests.


President Tinubu’s leadership and the Nigerian Navy’s efforts demonstrate what can be accomplished through effective leadership, collaboration, and dedication to protecting the nation’s interests. It is essential to focus on constructive dialogue and fact-based discourse, avoiding misinformation and promoting sustainable development.


Let me state categorically that the Tinubu administration has shown commitment to fuel subsidy reforms and sustainable development. It is time to ignore the critics and focus on the progress being made, supporting the government’s efforts towards a better future for Nigeria. President Tunubu has not left anybody in doubt about his capacity to deliver.


The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles that are about to be commissioned by the president, as well as the railway construction that is ongoing across the nation to facilitate transportation are testimonies of the Renewed Hope Agenda. Nigerians are witnessing growth in all aspects of the economy.


In the security sector, communications and intelligence equipment are being purchased by the administration of Tinubu to end insecurity. In the real sector, the nation is witnessing mass construction of thousands of houses by the federal ministry of Housing and Development across the states and local government councils. We have seen increment of judges’ salaries and equipping of the judiciary with new modern technologies. All these are being done with funds that were hitherto wasted on petroleum subsidies.


I think it is high time the Tinubu administration deployed intelligence to fish out those leaking vital and sensitive documents in the State House, office of the SGF, NNCPL and other government establishments. Those behind leaking of fake documents are well-placed moles planted to distract government and sabotage prosecution of looters who are plotting to pull the nation down due to their selfish interests.


Nigeria belongs to all of us and we are proud to be united as one family. We must resist attempts to pay proxies to leak fake documents to create tension, cause public mayhem and stoke the embers of discord. At the state level, Nigerians should stand up and dig deep into the activities of former and serving governors, including all public office holders, both former and serving, to identify those creating artificial poverty for the common man. They should be made to be on their way to prison by exposing their evil deeds.


In conclusion, I must urge all of us as Nigerians to work towards assisting President Tinubu to succeed by insisting that the office of the NSA, the EFCC, ICPC and DSS recover the trillions of Naira and Dollars, as well as public assets that were converted by individuals for personal use, leaving Nigerians in economic mess. They are now using the same looted funds to sponsor terrorism and other crises to prevent Nigerians from reaping the dividends of democracy and thwart the good plans of President Tinubu’s administration.

Let me use this opportunity to wish all Nigerians happy Democracy Day in arears and happy Sallah in advance. There is a saying in Yoruba language that, ‘Oba bi olorun kosi! This means that there is no powerful king than the Almighty God.


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