Fuel Subsidy Removal: Muslim Students Back Labour

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Unit, has advised the Federal Government to rescind its decision to remove fuel subsidy in order to avert the imminent shutdown of the nation’s economy by the labour movement and the civil society.

Besides, the society said the untold hardship occasioned by the removal since January 1 has gone beyond what the Nigerian masses can endure.

President of the Society, Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen in a statement, noted that a government that claimed to be acting in the interest of the people will not negate the wishes of the same people.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan should consider the negative impact of the policy on the majority of Nigerians, especially the students, whose parents have already been overburden by other economic challenges in the country.

“What we are saying is that the federal government should make our refineries work and build new ones as well. If the refineries are functional, we will not have any cause to import what we have here in abundance. We will not be talking about subsidy. But, it is very sad and worrisome that in Nigeria, all that we do is to import refined petroleum from abroad.

“Our government ought to have ensured that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in local refining of all petrol products since 1999. “It is very unfortunate that we have been living on imported fuel all this while,” he said.

The MSSN leader also charged the president to go after the cabal collecting the so called subsidy without commensurate effect on the masses of the country.

Members of the cabal, according to Badrudeen, are known to the government, adding that what the government should do is to summon the political will and courage to bring them to justice rather than punish the masses.

“Removing the subsidy is not the solution at this point in time. The government should tackle the endemic corruption in the petroleum where some people will import nothing and still collect subsidy through active connivance with its officials at the ports. “All loop holes and drain pipes in the industry should be blocked. The Nigerian masses should not be made to suffer for the crime of a few individuals,” he said.

He also commended the labour movement and the civil society for their steadfastness and peaceful opposition in the face of government’s hard stance on the issue.

He said the MSSN is in support of the planned nationwide strike and protests scheduled for Monday and asked Nigerians to be peaceful and orderly in the course of the mass action.

—Jamiu Yisa

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