Jessica Williams
Sun, Jul 23, 2023 11:15 AM

Civil Society Organisations Support Government's Plan to Roll out Buses as Fuel Subsidy is Removed

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Civil Society Organisations Support Government's Plan to Roll out Buses as Fuel Subsidy is Removed
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has expressed its support for the Federal Government's plan to provide buses as a means to offset the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on citizens. The CSOs also commended the government for its efforts to provide palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians and increase the salaries of civil servants. The coalition believes that the fuel subsidy removal is in the best interest of the nation and will create sufficient funds for infrastructure development.

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) comprising 65 member groups has given its backing to the Federal Government's proposal to introduce buses as part of measures to alleviate the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerian citizens. The CSOs also lauded the government's initiatives aimed at providing support to vulnerable Nigerians, as well as increasing the salaries of civil servants.

Speaking at a media briefing held in Abuja, Hon. Sir Iyk Godspower, the Convenor of the coalition, and Ambassador Auwal Kassim, the General-Secretary, stated that the coalition had credible information suggesting that the Federal Government was considering a range of palliatives. These palliatives include salary and wage increases for Nigerian workers. Additionally, other citizens who are not part of the formal employment sector will also be considered for support. Moreover, buses are set to be made available across all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, as part of the government's scheme.

According to the coalition, it is imperative for Civil Society Organisations to lend their voice to the ongoing economic developments resulting from the removal of fuel pump price subsidy. They firmly believe that the subsidy removal is in the best interest of Nigerians, as the resultant funds generated can be directed towards financing the national budget and addressing infrastructural gaps that are critical for the nation's progress.

Nigeria, being a developing economy, requires sustainable liquidity mechanisms, and the removal of subsidy, which has long served as a conduit for a select few disguised as businessmen, represents a significant step in achieving that objective. Though the price increase has caused some initial shock and hardships, it has also yielded positive outcomes, such as increased product availability at filling stations, attributed to the breaking of the fuel importation monopoly.

The coalition emphasizes that the current price increase is expected to pave the way for a future price crash. In light of this, they appeal to Nigerians to exercise patience and understanding while the government continues to implement measures aimed at mitigating the associated difficulties.

Assurances have been received that the Federal Government is actively considering palliative measures, particularly pertaining to salary and wage adjustments for workers. Furthermore, citizens outside the formal employment system will also receive support. The provision of buses across all states, including the Federal Capital Territory, will be carefully organized to ensure inclusiveness.

The coalition also highlights the Federal Government's commitment to enhancing the functionality of refineries through the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPL). This move is expected to minimize the reliance on foreign exchange as a determining factor for fuel price increases.

The coalition calls upon Nigerians, the private sector, and labor unions to demonstrate understanding and support for the government's efforts. Additionally, they urge the Federal Government to collaborate with security agencies to tackle fuel smuggling across national borders, as part of the wider strategy to reduce fuel prices.

In conclusion, the Civil Society Organisations reaffirm their support for the Federal Government's intention to provide buses as a palliative measure in response to fuel subsidy removal. They believe that the removal of the subsidy will ultimately benefit citizens by generating sufficient funds to address critical infrastructure needs. The coalition urges all stakeholders to join forces with the government during this transitional period.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-23 News

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