Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told Nigerians that it was not unaware of the financial strains caused by recent increases in fuel pump price and electricity tarrifs on citizens.
The party also urged organised labour not to be hoodwinked by skewed opposition party narratives on the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum sector even as it urged Nigerians to endure the pains, which it said were temporary but with future benefits.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, in a statement, yesterday, said decision of government to increase worker’s minimum wage and other social investments schemes showed that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration took the welfare of citizens seriously.
“On the positive side, the short and long-term benefits on the citizenry and our national life will become obvious and directly felt in critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and social services targeted at the poor.
“At least, the generality of Nigerians and stakeholders agree on a thousand and one reasons fuel subsidy has become unsustainable. The perceived benefits of fuel subsidies have long been overtaken by the previous corruption and drain on scarce resources that should be directed to other critical sectors.
“In line with the current administration’s deregulation drive and move to increase private-sector participation in the petroleum sector, the task before us now is to improve our local refining capacities which we are already on course to achieving and maintain a competitive, market-driven, transparent and accountable petroleum pricing template which meets global best practices, particularly in a developing country such as ours.
“While government works assiduously to solve the country’s electricity challenges permanently, it realizes that many Nigerians and businesses still rely on alternative sources for power supply to meet electricity needs, hence its current focus on improving electricity and service delivery while also protecting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing. As with government’s decision to increase Nigerian worker’s minimum wage and other social investments, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration takes the welfare of the citizenry seriously. We call on all stakeholders — government at all levels, private sector organizations, labour unions, civil societies, students and youth groups to support governments decision on the ongoing deregulation exercise as the citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries.”
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