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Subsidy removal: Reps call for palliative measures to help suffering Nigerians

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led federal government has been urged to, as a matter of urgency, implement palliative measures to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerian citizens.

 

The House of Representatives, Wednesday made the call sequel to a motion titled “Urgent Need to Implement Palliative Measures to Mitigate the Effects of Fuel Subsidy Removal on Nigerians” moved at the plenary by Hon. Sani Madaki.

Madaki while presenting the motion, recalled that on Monday 29 May 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his inaugural speech, announced the removal of Nigeria’s fuel subsidy.

He noted that as a result of the subsidy removal, the official pump price of petrol skyrocketed from the initial N195 per litre to a whopping N480–N577 per litre as the prices varied between States.

“The implication of over 200 per cent price adjustment in fuel prices is that nearly all prices of goods and services have drastically increased.

“The sudden fuel subsidy removal has left millions of Nigerians terrified, thus causing untold hardship as Nigerians grapple with the challenges of meeting up with, not only the high cost of petrol but also the consequent increase in the prices of goods and services.

“In response to the resulting financial strain of the subsidy removal on public workers, some proactive State governments introduced temporary measures to alleviate the situation by reducing workdays from five to three days per week for the State-employed workers pending when other sustainable palliatives can be provided.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress recently suspended a planned strike over the removal of fuel subsidy in the hopes that the Federal Government would address its adverse effects on workers”, he said.

Madaki said the House was aware of a presidential directive to put palliative measures in place to ameliorate the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians.

“The Federal Government is yet to provide palliative measures to mitigate the impact of the subsidy removal on Federal Government workers.

“Since the removal of the subsidy, several protests have been recorded as citizens accuse the government of being insensitive to their needs.

“The need to put in place measures to protect the rights of citizens and prioritize the provision of palliatives to mitigate the challenges that have arisen from the fuel subsidy removal and ensure a more sustainable and inclusive economic framework for the benefit of Nigerians”, Madaki added.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity yet to be constituted to ensure compliance and report back within 2 weeks for further legislative action.

In a related development, the House also urged the federal ministry of Works and Housing, and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to complete the reconstruction of Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Road to prevent the total collapse of the road.

It also urged the Federal Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies to take a holistic and systematic approach to containing the gully erosion menace, particularly Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Enugu North and South Federal Constituency of Enugu State in Southeast Geo-Political Zone.

The call followed the presentation of a motion titled “Need for the Control of Persistent Gully Erosion along Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Federal Road in Enugu North and Udi Local Government Area” by Hon. Chimaobi Sam Atu.

Moving the motion, Atu noted that the ravaging effect of gully erosion on the Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Road in Enugu North and part of Udi Local Government Areas.

He also noted the strategic importance of the Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Road to the economy of the South East States in particular and the country, in general, cannot be under-estimated as the road enables traders to transport goods to markets within and to neighbouring States and serves as a route to Enugu State, the commercial city in South East.

“The adverse effects of erosion on these roads have long been ignored and if not checked may cut off access to other States within the South East.

“Ugwuonyeama 9th Mile Road has remained a death trap resulting in loss of lives, goods and services worth millions of naira on a daily basis due to frequent accidents on the bad portions of the road yet to be completed”, he said.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Environment, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and

Works, when constituted, to investigate the threat posed by gully erosion and recommend long-term solution.

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