The Lagos Chamber for Commerce and Industry(LCCI) has urged the Federal Government to provide measures that would make the subsidy removal a bit bearable for Nigerians.
LCCI in a statement by its President, Mr Goodie Ibru, said that the government should urgently put in place palliative measures to cushion the hardship the removal has caused.
He said:“In spite of the fact that government has emphasised that this fuel subsidy removal is for the good of all Nigerians in the medium to long term scale, however bearing in mind the enormous hardship it is causing now, as prices of everything has gone up, government should put in place adequate palliative measures to cushion the hardship.
“It has become expedient that the government demonstrates sensitivity and concerns to the plight of ordinary Nigerians to solve the prevalent poverty and high rate of unemployment in the country.
“It should focus urgently on acceleration of the delivery of palliatives such as free transport services, buses, taxi-cabs from government and other incentives to ease some of the adverse suffering from increase in fuel price. Also government should demonstrate prudence in governance by the political class as a moral basis to demand sacrifices from the citizens, through a more cost- effective and corruption-free governance, sustain the momentum of dialogue and enlightenment to stabilise the polity.
“Also government should as a matter of urgency fast-track the turn-around maintenance of the refineries and even building new ones to reduce dependence on importation of refined products.”
Continuing, he added : “Some of the expected outcomes of the fuel removal subsidy strategy include increased private investment in the downstream oil sector with a corresponding impact on the creation of quality jobs, reduction in the pressure on foreign reserves, a huge chunk of which is currently being used to fund fuel importation, and a better fiscal space to ensure macroeconomics stability, with a resultant positive effect on the economy.”
He however called on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Subsidy Reinvestment Board (SRB) in order to ensure that the people benefitted from it, adding that government this time, must not renege on its promises.
The LCCI boss emphasised in the statement that: “ There is great need to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of the savings from this subsidy removal for the benefits of all Nigerians”.
LCCI further appealed to the masses too and the law enforcement agencies to prevent the collapse of law and order, noting that it would not serve any useful purpose for chaos to set in, rather it would worsen the predicament of all the Nigerians especially the common man.
“ LCCI as a body is urging the law enforcement agencies to manage the current strike situation with utmost professionalism to avoid further escalation,” he warned.