“We cannot pander to the threats of the people we RULE.” – Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu
Democracy is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
The current Minister of Petroleum was Minister of Transport in 2007 and cried over the state of the Benin – Ore Road. The same road is scheduled to be completed under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE), 5 years later.
The current Minister of Finance served in the same role in 2005 when we paid $18 billion to the Paris Club to clear our debts. Part of the rationale at the time was that instead of debt payments, the monies will be used to provide infrastructure and development projects.
These Ministers are asking us to trust them again in 2012. Can you blame Nigerians if we choose not to?
1. Revert to N65
2. Focus on securing lives and property of Nigerians
3. Plug the holes in the oil sector
a. Allow the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation, Finance and Petroleum Resources (Downstream), under the Chairmanship of Senator Magnus Abe (Petroleum Resources) to complete its review of “The Operations of the Fuel Subsidy Scheme in Nigeria.”
b. Continue with the clean-up of DPR and PPPRA
c. Full disclosure on subsidy payments on petrol, and an investigation on all companies paid subsidies in 2011. Same should apply to kerosene lifting – names of all beneficiaries should be published, and criteria for allocation (both PMS and HHK stated).
d. Prosecute all persons and companies who’ve defrauded Nigeria.
e. Revamp the refineries. They currently average 23% utilization. The Minister of Petroleum says 3 of them (Warri, Kaduna and Port-Harcourt) can be up to 90% in 2 years.
4. Provide a framework for proper deregulation of the sector by passing PIB.
5. Cut government expenditure. For example:
a. Security votes for the President and Governors at N250 billion – What exactly is this for?
b. Full disclosure of salaries and allowances at all tiers of government and a review of same with clear parameters. The Lagos State review of remuneration in the judiciary can serve as a guide.
c. Speedy review and implementation of the Report from the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals.
6. Provide power:
On a single day in 2009, the Federal Government with Mr President as then Vice-President, approved over $2bn for power projects to meet the 6,000MW-by-December 2009 deadline. 2 years later, we are at 4,000 MW and new contracts are being issued.
When the government fulfils this promise, it would reduce our demand for petrol.
This issue unites ALL OF US across social, religious, ethnic and demographic lines and we will use this to push for a government that’s accountable to US. Nigerians have done their part by coming out in record numbers in the streets around the country to protest. The protests started on Monday, January 2nd without instigation by any organized body and have continued with the support of the NLC/TUC strike which started on Monday, January 9th.
We also thank the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for setting a deadline of Sunday, January 15th for a shutdown of services if the government does not revert to N65 to begin discussions on the way forward.
This is NOT only about fuel subsidy removal. You can’t add more money to a corrupt system and expect miracles. “Wasteful leadership cannot make prudent investments.”
We ask all Nigerians to continue to make their voices heard, in a peaceful and non-violent manner, to push for the change we desire. Join a protest, get educated about the issues, educate someone.
Nigeria will be great!