Dr. Ademola Aremu,The National Treasurer of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, said Nigerians will continue to resist the removal of subsidy on fuel because the government has never convinced them on the need to do so as the authorities has not been sincere about the issue.
While delivering a pre-May Day Lecture titled, ‘Clamour for fuel subsidy removal: in whose interest?’ at an event organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State branch in Ibadan on Tuesday, Aremu said the planned removal of subsidy on fuel by the Federal Government would remain unpopular among the people because the payment of the said subsidy had always been a controversial issue.
He wondered why Nigerians had never been told how much crude oil was been taken away from the country on daily basis.
“The starting point of this would be the removal of opacity which has become second nature to oil business in Nigeria, albeit a general characteristic of the business the world over. This could only be achieved through government accountability to its citizens,” he said.
He added that Nigerians would continue to doubt the sincerity of their leaders and their actions because of their unpopular policy and expensive lifestyle of public office holders even when the nation groaned under the weight of poverty and hardship.
Aremu said, “Is it possible for the government to give a near estimate of the crude oil being explored in Nigeria on daily, weekly or other such periodic basis? Can Nigerians be made aware of the amount of money invested in refining the crude oil produce? Can the memoranda of understanding between the international oil companies and the Nigerian government be made public with the rules of engagement stated in black and white?
“These are some of the important questions to be asked in ensuring that a subsidy removal would become accepted by Nigerians and yield the desired effect. But such a move can only be supported by Nigerians if this were a people’s government.”