Foremost human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has called on presidential candidates to reveal their replacement for the removal of the fuel subsidy.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, fuel subsidy gulped N2.565tn between January and August 2022.
It would be recalled that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, on Friday in a meeting with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Lagos, expressed his support for the removal of fuel subsidy, a move the other main candidates also express.
“The subsidy money will not be ‘saved’ because that means elimination from the economy.
“Instead, we will redirect the funds into public infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, education, health, and strengthen the social safety net for the poorest of the poor, thus averting increased security challenges.
Also, at the Channels Television’s Townhall series on Sunday, the Presidential candidate for the Labour Party, Peter Obi, stated that his administration will remove fuel subsidies and send the proceeds into social development areas including health and Education citing the FG subsidy payments are a “bloated scam”.”
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, also stated that Nigeria’s fuel subsidy removal is inevitable, but has to be accomplished through negotiations with organized labour.
In a latest development, Falana, while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, called on the presidential candidates to reveal their replacement for fuel subsidy.
“I have also heard some of the candidates say, ‘Oh when we get to power on our first day, we are going to cancel fuel subsidy.’ That is what IMF and World Bank want to hear, it is not what Nigerians want to hear. How will you stop that? What will be the replacement?” Falana queried on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He said, “this regime in 2020 announced that we are going to migrate from PMS to CNG. That with CNG vehicles that are powered to run on gas, we will only pay 95 to 97 naira per litre. N250bn was earmarked by government to convert vehicles from PMS to CNG, what has happened to that fund? So when you say that we are going to cancel fuel subsidy, what will be the replacement?”