The list of ”wailers’ in Nigeria has increased by thirty six and to be honest, I dont think any of us could have seen them coming. When presidential spokesman Femi Adesina coined the word ‘Wailing Wailers’ as an insult for critics of the Buhari led government, he couldn’t have anticipated that those ranks would swell to include all 36 governors of the federation. We are glad they are finally speaking up, but it might be too little too late.
The Federal government ably led by President Buhari at the inception of his administration “removed” the contentious subsidy only for it to return in a more dramatic manner. The government reneged on its promise to end subsidies and divert that money towards building infrastructure by paying the subsidy secretly without getting an approval from the National Assembly as is enshrined in the law.
It took an investigation by journalists and further confirmation by the NNPC Managing director who admitted the NNPC was still paying subsidies to private importers of fuel. Nigerians have been asking questions since the information was confirmed but the government have maintained silence, preferring instead to insinuate that Nigerians were misled.
To start with the price of fuel was #97 before the removal of subsidy, after the removal it went up to #147 but the government started payment of subsidy again yet the price of fuel remains at #147. At the moment, subsidy claims have gone up to 1.4 Trillion naira without a budgetary provision for its payment.
The National Assembly has find it difficult to check the excesses of the Federal government as relating to this obnoxious payment, the cries of civil society organizations have fell on deaf ears. At a time while all these were going on, the Governors were silent, but at the moment they’ve decided to voice out as the payment is having a toll on their allocations.
They’ve accused NNPC of manipulating the subsidy payment but this should have come earlier, if the Governors are people centered leaders they would have voiced out immediately the illegal subsidy payment was discovered but they were part of the process.
But of course, elections are less than a year away and suddenly our governors have found their conscience. Good riddance.