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Subsidy removal: Beyond Tinubu, Kyari’s personal interests



Subsidy removal: Beyond Tinubu, Kyari’s personal interests







By Mohammed Usman











Sahara Weekly Reports That One of the major highlights of the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been the suspension of the payment of subsidy for premium motor spirit, PMS, commonly called petrol.











Subsidy removal: Beyond Tinubu, Kyari’s personal interests































Though there have been so many reforms introduced into the system since inauguration on May 29, 2023, the removal of fuel subsidies seemed to have been the most daring move ever made by any administration.










































Come to think of it, as critical as fuel subsidy removal is to the turnaround of the economy, successive governments have made brick walls in their attempts to end the subsidy regime.










































And, ever since that May 29th, 2023 pronouncement, a lot of dusts has been raised from different quarters, either from uninformed, or from the camp of those who benefited, albeit criminally or otherwise, while the subsidy regime held sway. And a lot of water has passed under the bridge too, including threats of strike.










































However, it is pertinent to dig deep into this matter. Was removing the oil subsidy the right step in the right direction, or was it another government’s way to punish the masses?










































Some say it is a wicked act by the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, aimed at impoverishing the masses further. Others say it is the handiwork of the group chief executive officer, GCEO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari. In this regard, the two top government functionaries have been the objects of attacks and accusations both in beer parlour discussions and in the press.










































However, to the informed, this remains the most courageous move to place the country of the strongest path to its economic recovery.










































The concept of fuel subsidy is not new to our national discourse. In fact, subsidy has been in place in Nigeria since the promulgation of the Price Control Act in 1977. It was put in place to cushion the effects of the global inflation of the 1970s.










































In recent years, rather than being a blessing, subsidy payments have placed a huge economic burden on the government. The sectors that were affected negatively were the educational and health and housing sectors.










































In justifying the subsidy removal, the government said subsidy removal would free up public funds for more meaningful infrastructure and developmental programs that stimulate industrialization, create jobs, economic growth and social prosperity.










































For example: Almost N12 trillion spent on subsidy in the last four years is more than sufficient to develop any of the following projects: 2,400, hospitals of 1000 bed capacity across 774 local government areas; or 500,000 new houses to provide shelter to over 3.5 million Nigerians; or 27GW of electricity generation; or skill up and provide education up to tertiary levels for over 2 million Nigerians.










































It also said it would create a market reflective downstream, which invariably stimulates more downstream investments, especially in the domestic refining space, thereby creating more jobs, prosperity, and growth.










































The removal, according to the government would eliminate the unhealthy price arbitrage with neighboring countries thereby preventing the diversion and smuggling of gasoline outside the nation’s borders which bleeds our economy as well as reduce corruption surrounding internal product diversion as many marketers procure gasoline at subsidized regulated wholesale prices but still sell at deregulated retail prices.










































It stated that the rich benefit more from the subsidy than the poor as they have higher number and capacity of vehicles to buy more gasoline; removal of the subsidy creates an opportunity to redistribute this benefit directly to those who need it more.










































Subsidy removal also enables responsible gasoline consumption, which reduces waste as the prices are more market reflective, and the demand for the product will rebalance itself with the new price realities.










































It equally allows the full recovery of upstream revenues, which enables reinvestment required to grow our national petroleum production and reserves and overall forex earnings.










































The removal also would strengthen the naira as the growth of our foreign exchange earnings combined with reduction in product consumption reduces pressure on forex, thereby strengthening the naira.










































It would also reduce product scarcity, opening market reflective prices to bring in more players, and create a more efficient market, thereby reducing fuel scarcity and its adverse effects on the economy.










































The removal is also expected to reduce the growing and unsustainable budget deficit and, consequently, the debt burden, creating a more robust economic and sustainable future.










































Successive governments had sunk trillions of naira into the subsidy payments. In 2006, the Obasanjo regime earmarked N1.9 trillion for these payments. Do not forget that at the period under review, naira exchanged at N130 to a dollar, making the amount $14.6 billion. This amount was to spike in 2007 when the same government spent N2.3trn, or $17.96bn, with naira exchanging for N128 to a dollar.










































The above amount either tripled or quadrupled under the Yaradua/Jonathan administration as well as the Buhari administration. Now that the dollar is hovering around N800 in the exchange rate, one wonders what would be the fate of the economy in the next six months had the subsidy stayed.










































Probably, this would have been the basis of the constant warning from international agencies of the dangers of accommodating this burden called subsidy. Prior to the removal of the subsidy, there were damning reports from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank concerning oil subsidy.










































In its report titled, “Macro Poverty Outlook for Nigeria: April 2023” the World Bank said macroeconomic stability had weakened amidst declining oil production, costly fuel subsidies and other factors, further pushing millions of Nigeria into poverty, and that might become worse if the subsidy stayed up to June on 2023.










































The report further said: “With Nigeria’s population growth continuing to outpace poverty reduction and persistent high inflation ratio, the number of Nigerians living below the national poverty line will rise by 13 million between 2019 and 2025 in the baseline projection.”










































The bottom line is that in the last two decades, the fuel subsidy had cost the nation several trillions of naira. Even if it is narrowed down to between 2005 and now, the government spent approximately N21 trillion on subsidy payments alone.










































The last regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, having realized the dangers ahead, stopped making provisions for the payment in June 2023 when his government would have expired. It was, therefore, incumbent on the incoming administration to pick up the gauntlet and do the needful.










































From the onset of the existence of the subsidy, a certain set of individuals had smiled to the bank with each payment. It turned out that something that was done to assuage the suffering of the masses became an avenue for people with greedy and unscrupulous oil marketing companies to divert money into their pockets by sheer unconscionable criminality,










































Speaking in a nationwide broadcast last Monday, President Tinubu reiterated on the benefit of the subsidy removal to Nigerians. He said in a little over two months, his government had over a trillion naira “that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy which only benefitted smugglers and fraudsters That money will now be used more directly and more beneficial for you and your families.










































“For several years, I have consistently maintained the position that the fuel subsidy had to go. This once beneficial measure outlived its usefulness.










































“The subsidy cost us trillions of Naira yearly. Such a vast sum of money would have been better spent on public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing, and even national security. Instead, it was being funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals.










































“To be blunt, Nigeria could never become the society it was intended to be as long as such small, powerful yet unelected groups hold enormous influence over our political economy and the institutions that govern it.










































“The whims of the few should never hold dominant sway over the hopes and aspirations of the many. If we are to be a democracy, the people and not the power of money must be sovereign.”










































However, notwithstanding the president’s speech, the organized labour ordered workers to resume strike on Wednesday after talks with the government failed to yield positive results.










































This is in spite of palliatives proposed by the federal government to ameliorate the perceived suffering the fuel subsidy removal would throw up.










































This raises the question as to what the Nigerian labour is up to. Is labour truly yearning for the progress of Nigeria, or is it being sponsored by enemies of Nigeria?










































At this critical period of our nation, we urge Nigerians to come together to support the good vision of the president to make the nation great, because from all indications, both the president Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mallam Mele Kyari, the NNPC GCEO mean well for Nigeria.












































Usman, a public commentator, wrote in from FCT, Abuja.


Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement



Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement

Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement



The Centre for Accountability and Probity (CAP) has commended the Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Bichi, for his commitment to transparency and accountability.


Supplementary Budget: Centre Lauds Reps Appropriations Chair Bichi Over Thorough Scrutiny, Public Engagement


In a statement signed by Princess Ajibola Naomi, its Coordinating President, the Centre said the recent transmission of the supplementary budget has been met with thorough scrutiny and public engagement by Bichi.

Naomi said that in his characteristic manner, Bichi is engaging stakeholders, conducting public hearings, and scrutinizing the executive bill to ensure that the supplementary budget serves the best interests of Nigerians.

“Bichi’s innovative approach to the budgetary process has introduced a new level of transparency and accountability, setting a benchmark for future budgetary processes,” she said.

“His commitment to ensuring that every detail is scrutinized, and the executive accounts for every penny, is a testament to his dedication to the Nigerian people.

“Bichi has introduced public engagement and scrutiny of the budget estimates, ensuring that stakeholders’ inputs are considered.

“He has also conducted public hearings to ensure transparency and accountability and analysed every detail of the executive bill to prevent misappropriation of funds.

“Furthermore, he has ensured that the supplementary budget aligns with the priorities of Nigerians.”

In addition, Naomi said Bichi has also improved the budget process by ensuring timely submission of budget estimates by MDAs, conducting regular oversight visits to monitor project implementation, and engaging with civil society organizations to ensure inclusivity and transparency.

She noted that the Appropriations Committee has also utilised technology to enhance budget tracking and monitoring, and provided clear and concise budget reports for easy understanding.

“Bichi’s leadership has changed the narrative in the budgetary process, promoting transparency and accountability,” she added. “His commitment to ensuring that the executive accounts for every penny has given Nigerians confidence in the budgetary process”.

The Centre for Accountability and Probity, therefore, urged Nigerians not to worry about the budget, as Bichi’s commitment ensures that it will be utilized effectively for the benefit of all Nigerians.

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Sahara Weekly Reports That The First Lady Oluremi Tinubu says women have to learn how to obtain power the e ECOWAS Female Parliamentarian Association has held its Spotlight Initiative with the theme; Re-thinking Women’s Proportional Representation in Governance.










The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu noted that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has made significant progress in this regard but barriers still exist especially culturally and socially.










“These barriers include deeply entrenched societal norms, systemic discriminatory practices, structural issues within our political systems, and financial incapability”.










“To achieve this across board, we must be seen to walk the talk. For instance, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has taken significant steps to remove financial barriers by making nomination forms for elective positions free at grassroots level, ensuring that capable and qualified women can participate in the political process without the burden of prohibitive costs”.













Senator Oluremi Tinubu commended the Federal House of Representatives for its recent passage of the Bill seeking 74 seats for women in the National Assembly in a bid to encourage more female participation in politics and governance.











“I believe that the leadership in the Senate is gender-friendly”.










“Power is not served A’lar carte, just as my husband, President Bola Tinubu said. You have to learn how to obtain power. You need older women to mentor you”.












“Education is the cornerstone of empowerment. By improving access to education for girls and women, we can equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively in political processes. Additionally, raising awareness about the importance of women’s representation in governance is crucial. Public campaigns, media engagement, and community programs can help shift societal attitudes and dismantle stereotypes that hinder women’s political participation”.














The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament who is also the first female to occupy the position, Rt Hon Hadija Memounatou Ibrahimah in her remarks urged the First Lady of Nigeria to serve as the champion of the course of better representation for women in governance in the region.













This she noted is especially so with the commendable contributions to the issues of women and girls.










“Your Excellency, you transmit a kind of light that illuminates the leadership of Nigeria. It touches the lives of even the ordinary man”.











“Women account for half of the population of ECOWAS member States. Only 17% are Parliamentarians and 24% are Ministers in the region. It is high time to reduce the under representation of women in democracy”.










The Senate President, Senator Godwill Akpabio who was represented by the Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau stated that for the Senate, women participation in governance is a priority.












“We will redefine the power of women in governance”.










After the Session, the First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu in a nostalgic move, visited the newly renovated hallowed Red Chamber. She commended the leadership of the senate.








The First Lady was a 3 term Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District till 2023.




Busola Kukoyi

SSA Media to the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

22nd July,2024

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US Election: Democratic Party Listens To Primate Ayodele, Drops Joe Biden As Presidential Candidate



*US Election: Democratic Party Listens To Primate Ayodele, Drops Joe Biden As Presidential Candidate


The build-up to the presidential election in the United States of America took a different turn yesterday when Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the presidential race which will be coming up in December.

His withdrawal comes after he has faced an obvious health challenge which made his last debate with opposition candidate, Donald Trump an embarrassment.

This announcement follows the advice that popular Nigerian prophet, Primate Elijah Ayodele gave to the democratic party regarding Joe Biden’s chances at the election. In a statement that went viral last week, Primate Ayodele advised the ruling party to drop Joe Biden as the presidential candidate because he would not be able to defeat Donald Trump.

These were his words:

’If the Democratic Party wants to win, Joe Biden must be dropped from the race. He should be replaced with either Kamala Harris or Josh Shapiro.

“These are the ones that can match Trump if not; Joe Biden’s candidacy will disappoint the Democratic Party.’’

US 2024: ‘Drop Biden, replace him with Kamala or Shapiro’ – Primate Ayodele to Democrats

Barely one week after his prophetic advice, Joe Biden has been dropped as presidential candidate while he also endorsed Kamala Harris as candidate, one of those Primate Ayodele suggested as likely candidates that can defeat Donald Trump.

It is worthy of note that the withdrawal of Joe Biden from the presidential race due to health challenges had been foretold by Primate Ayodele in January 2021 when Joe Biden was just newly sworn in.

In a statement that went viral, Primate Ayodele mentioned that Joe Biden’s second term was not certain and that he should pray fervently against health challenges.

These were his words:

“Joe Biden needs to pray concerning his health.I foresee troubles coming for him. Also, his second term ambition is not certain.”

Also, when some men of God in Nigeria gave prophecies that the ‘number 2 in US will become number 1’, making an impression that Joe Biden would resign or be removed from office as US President, Primate Ayodele spoke again and assured that Biden would finish his first term even though he will face health challenges but God will sustain him till the end.

These were his words:

‘’God will sustain him to finish well, his emergence is a fulfilment of God’s word. I want to urge him to rule with the fear of God. His first term will be faced with health challenges. He will complete his first term and perform well. No matter the health challenges, God will stabilize him,”

Joe Biden will face health challenges – Primate Ayodele

Joe Biden’s tenure will be coming to an end in about six months but it doesn’t appear he will resign or be removed from office as President. He won’t only be seeking re-election, knocking out other prophecies about his resignation and fulfilling the prophecy of Primate Elijah Ayodele.

It would also be recalled that Primate Ayodele foretold the emergence of Joe Biden as the President after giving several advises to the democratic party about the viability of his candidacy and chances at the election in 2020.

Primate Ayodele’s fulfilled prophecies on Joe Biden’s political career are not surprising or strange; he is known for his consistent prophetic warnings and revelations to presidents of nations that end up paying heavily for disobedience in a situation where they ignore the prophecy of this enigmatic man of God.

Several instances include the removal of Ali Bongo as president of Gabon in 2023 after the prophet warned him the previous year not to seek re-election because he would be removed from office. The prophet conspicuously revealed that Bongo’s time was up and all he had to do was to handover to someone else to avoid being removed from office. Unfortunately, Bongo refused the warnings of Primate Ayodele and was made to face a disgraceful removal.

‘’ Gabonese president, your time is up, I am seeing a crisis, if not coup d’etat, because of your health why not resign, why do you want to die on this seat? I am telling you what the Lord has said, your staying on the throne is killing you but because you are self-centered. This is enough warning for you, you are incapacitated but no one is telling you the truth. I am telling you to humble yourself, resign, and handover to someone who can do better so that you won’t cause a crisis in your country’’

Likewise, the president of Kenya, William Ruto was warned by Primate Ayodele before he started facing the unforeseen crisis of the ‘Gen Zs’ calling for his removal as President of Kenya. The prophet who foretold his surprising victory at the elections in 2022 warned him shortly after his election to be careful of policies that will make people rise up against him. He advised him not to be careful of his tax policies as it may cause an uprising against him but unfortunately, he failed to listen and as a result, he is currently facing a revolutionary uprising against his leadership in Kenya.

‘’Kenya: The country should pray not to see an assassination or removal of a governor. The country’s economic policy will be alarming. Ruto will come up with different policies to see that Kenya gets better but he won’t be appreciated. Oppositions will come out strongly against him. All the efforts of Ruto to make Kenya better will be faced with challenges.’’

The former prime minister of UK, Rishi Sunak is another global figure that failed to listen to Primate Ayodele’s prophecy and suffered unnecessarily for it. Before the election that saw his party lose its majority for the first time in decades, Primate Ayodele had said that Rishi Sunak’s time was up and that his party would not get enough seats to remain in power after the UK general election. He made it known that they will be disappointed basically because of the policies of the Prime Minister.

These were his words:

‘’Rishi’s time is up because his party will not make any headway. In the coming election, his party will face disappointment and will not get enough seats. Rishi’s policies will affect his party’s chances in the election, they will not have any headway in the coming election.’’

The unfortunate death of the vice president of Malawi, Saulos Chilima alongside other notable figures in the country in an ill-fated helicopter crash was also foretold by Primate Ayodele. The prophet, who also wrote a letter to the president, had said in a publication that there will be a national mourning in Malawi except the people can pray to avert it.

‘’Malawi: The president’s efforts will not be appreciated despite all his efforts to stabilise the economy. The opposition will frustrate his efforts and he will have compounded issues in his party. “The country’s currency will continue to depreciate and the country will have troubles from natural disasters. The president needs to pray for his good health and electricity will be challenging for them. Let them pray against calamity that will bring the country to mourn.”

Likewise, Primate Ayodele warned Nigerians as far back as 2022 not to vote for the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2023 presidential election as he foresaw that there will be too much hardship in the country if the party returns to power. In a viral video, the prophet analyzed all that would happen if APC remains in power and as he said, the current economic hardship in the country has never been seen before in just one year of President Tinubu’s government.

Asides the remarkable prophecies that have come to pass, there are several others that are still in the pipeline of getting fulfilled if those involved fail to listen.

The former president of Ghana, John Mahama has been warned severally by Primate Ayodele regarding his ambition to return to the seat of power. The man of God had said that Mahama has all it takes to be president of Ghana again but he hasn’t done the right thing. He stated that failure to do the right thing would make him lose the election to the Vice President, Mahamadu Bawumia who is also in the race.

Likewise, Primate Ayodele has advised the service chiefs of Nigeria that if they want to end insecurity in the country, they should build three strong towers for God. The country has been facing insecurity for several years and according to the prophet, the strong towers would lead to a complete stop of insecurity in the country but as we speak, the service chiefs are yet to do anything regarding the spiritual advice shared by Primate Ayodele.

For several others who have been warned by Primate Ayodele, it’s advisable that they listen and yield to his prophetic warnings so they won’t end up like Ali Bongo, Rishi Sunak, William Ruto, to mention but a few.

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