ABUJA – Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Monday, flawed the new administration of President Bola Tinubu over the abrupt removal of fuel subsidy.
Stressing that the government is unfeeling towards the plight of Nigerians at a time the nation and the informal sector is just recovering from the economic crisis occasioned by the naira scarcity, caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said the coincidental inauguration of the Dangote Refinery in Lagos and the removal of fuel subsidy is suspect and pointer to the fact that many government officials allegedly turned investors in the new refinery orchestrated subsidy removal to monopolize and maximize their profit.
The group also called on the new President to probe the allegations that US$2.1 billion and N3.1 trillion public funds of oil revenues budgeted as fuel subsidy payments are missing and unaccounted for between 2016 and 2019, as documented by the Auditor-General of the Federation.
HURIWA also knocked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) for saying the volume of petrol consumed daily in Nigeria may drop by 30 per cent after the removal of subsidy when the money budgeted for subsidy continually gets missing and the country’s estimated 66 million litres daily consumption had been contested by top economists.
HURIWA further faulted the statement by the Tinubu administration to review the present N30,000 National Minimum Wage as a way to cushion the removal of subsidy on petrol, saying the review of the minimum wage was long overdue before the subsidy removal controversy.
It said minimum wage should be reviewed every five years to fit the current standard of living, cushion the effect of inflation, increase in cost of living, increase in transportation, and increase in housing increase in electricity and other utilities.