The President’s decision to reallocate funds once earmarked for the fuel subsidy and commit these to other more socially productive services and undertakings was a difficult decision. It was also a necessary one. Politically, it would have been easy for the president to sit back and let the subsidy remain in place, yet in the art of governance, the easiest policy is rarely the best one. As originally envisioned, subsidy formed a basic part of the social contract between the people and government. It was a benefit all were to enjoy. Yet, because past governments were not for and of the people, the true meaning and objective of the subsidy policy became lost.
Over the years, the operation of the measure was distorted to where it no longer functioned for the benefit of the masses but for the undue enrichment of a small club of businessmen, some legitimate in their work, some not. Instead of remaining a positive aspect of the social contract, subsidy was transformed into an opaque haven of intrigue and malfeasance. It was turned into a shadowy process from which the unscrupulous extracted large sums of money without providing the services and products duly paid for. Fake businessmen became true billionaires over night as if by supernatural force. They paraded themselves as such. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation, the innocent people, where left to face erratic supply and were made to groan in the misery of long fuel queues and the high costs and loss of time attendant to this situation.
To allow this unfairness to continue would have been a breach of the promise made by this government to the people. While we all have an emotional and sympathetic attachment to the ideals upon which subsidy was founded, we all must recognise that the institution was hijacked years ago. Instead of a bonus to the masses, it became a factory of corrupt enrichment, so imbued with trickery deceit and theft, it stopped serving the interests of the people. It became a weapon of profiteering. The machinery of the subsidy had become so polluted that it was no longer feasible to talk about reforming it. Either it had to cease or we would have to surrender to the corruption now inherent in it.
This administration entered office with a mandate of CHANGE. The government could not forever sit back and allow this dire inequity to continue, less it forfeit the essence of its mandate. We all want fuel at a cheaper price. Under subsidy, we got the right price but not the fuel. Meanwhile, some were getting rich on the common man’s predicament. They were laughing to the bank while the rest of Nigeria waited on the petrol line. This is not the way to democratic development. It is a recipe for creating a class of economic predators that would feed off the people and in time gain such power and wealth that they would seek to buy and control, if not own, government as well.
President Buhari has with this decision put an abrupt and just end to the assault against our economy and political system. He has made a courageous and prudent decision. It is time to end fuel subsidy and begin to subsidise the true needs of the people. To Mr. President, I say congratulations for having the courage to remove subsidy. The president has taken this tough decision in the interest of the present and future generations of Nigerians. For some time, I have been a proponent of this action. I believed the ending of subsidy was the only sure way to put to sleep the myriad demons that had invaded the subsidy process, sucking the blood of Nigeria, swallowing much of our needed money. The rentiers will no longer be able to make free money at our common expense. They will no longer be laughing to the bank while you languish on endless fuel queues.
Nigeria has taken the historic step needed to create a competitive environment that that will eliminate smuggling, provide incentives for private refineries and attract foreign investments in the downstream sector and create employment. Instead of just shipping off oil and having the more expensive finished products sent back to us, Nigeria will move closer to realising its potential to become the plastic centre of the continent by manufacturing numerous by products. Nothing can stop Nigeria from being the net exporter of fertiliser from the bye products of the oil industry. I am hopeful but also realistic about this measure. I am also mindful of the situation of our people. This change will mean higher fuel costs in generally, and I would be lying if I said this will cause no pain or dislocation. However, it will lead to better supply and end the hidden substantial costs associated with long waits and delays for fuel. The days and hours of waiting for fuel will be a thing of the past. In a perfect setting, I wish we could have sanitised the subsidy regime and thus continued with it.
However, I believe that President Buhari correctly understood that there are to many malefactors and flaws in system for that hell to be turned into heaven. Better that we remove it. But I believe he is removing it not for the austere purpose of saving money but for the nobler purpose of putting those same funds to fairer, more equitable use in order that government might better serve those of us who are truly in utmost need. Now that the subsidy is being phased-out, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Programmes such as transportation grants, school feeding, improved basic medical care and coverage for the poor, and potable water projects are profound social objectives that can be funded with the money that was once going to rentiers and speculators. This way we can use government funds to ensure that fruits go to the hungry, not the already well fed. Thus, I ask everyone to take a step back to coolly and objectively assess what has been decided. We must not make the mistake of allowing our political and sympathetic attachment to subsidy blind us to the hard fact that the purpose and benefits of subsidy had long ago been taken from the common man to reside in the purse of an elite few.
We cannot persist in this imbalance and think it will help us to develop. Instead, it is better to end subsidy and use the funds to establish well-targeted anti-poverty programmes that actually assist the people in need. True, this measure will increase fuel cost in the immediate term, and government must be vigilant to ensure that market forces are allowed to work properly and bring about a fair balance between supply, demand and longer-term favourable pricing. Collusion and manipulation of the market must never be allowed.
If government sets the system fairly, it will ensure better supply and with it economic certainty. Over the longer term, it will boost investment that can spur employment across several sectors. Perhaps more importantly, it will liberate money that government can now use to lower the social costs of living for our brothers and sisters who really need the help. While this may not be perfect, it is a much better deal than the one the subsidy offered us.
Originally published by Vanguard.
by Dr. Charles Awuzie (Johannesburg)
“The use of force to deprive peoples of their national identity constitutes a violation of their inalienable rights and of the principle of non-intervention…By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right to freely determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.” ~Ref: Hurst Hannum; Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights, Page 38.
I have endured the urge to write about the on-going agitation for the release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and the subsequent declaration of the Sovereignty of Biafra for two reasons:
1) Because of my principle of not publicly speaking about any subject I have no clear understanding of.
2) Because of my doubts about the honesty of the motives of the incarcerated leader of the #IPOB – Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Its okay if you have a problem with my second reason, I also do. The proliferation of Secessionist Movements in recent times has made some of us to question the motives, aims and desires of the leaders of such groups before we lend our tiny voice(s) to their cause.
For the record, I believe in the principle of self-determination, whether it is Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s call for the secession of the Yoruba people from Nigeria or Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s struggle for Biafra’s secession from Nigeria; I believe in both ideologies but I always have problem trusting in the pioneers of such movements, perhaps because of my secret romance with conspiracy theories.
Back to the purpose of this macro-blog, I am afraid that Nnamdi Kanu might not make it out of ‘prison’ alive, not because Buhari will kill him but because the security agents might snuff the life out of him in the course of interrogating him. But before that happens, here is my two-edged-sword:
First to Biafrans: Protests, no matter how peaceful have never solved any socio-political problem instead it has created more confusion and chaos. You have a just cause. The actualisation of Biafra is a dream every Biafran hates to be awoken from. That you and I love Biafra doesn’t mean that we hate Nigeria. It just means that we would rather choose to relate with Nigeria as a mother and no longer as a sister. If Nigeria understands this, she would let Biafra go in peace having understood that at one stage in life, a mother will have to release her child to take care of himself.
Like everyone else, I believe in self-determination but I do not believe that IPOB and MASSOB are doing it the right way.
Biafrans should immediately withdraw from the streets and mobilise a team of high powered international lawyers who would engage the United Nations in the processes and procedures of self-determination. This would culminate in the summoning of the Nigerian Government to a world court and subsequently, the Nigerian Government would be given an ultimatum by the international community to either hold a referendum on the Biafra-Secession saga or risk sanctions. I strongly believe that if the international community forces Nigeria into holding a referendum on Biafra-Nigeria marriage, Biafra would surely win. This way, we would have secured victory without further bloodsheds and unnecessarily frustrating economic activities in South Eastern Nigeria.
To the Nigerian Government: I believe that you have the right to protect the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria. I also understand that you do not wish to kill Nnamdi Kanu in detention. But please understand that it is dangerous to fight an ideology whose time has come. The war against Boko Haram has not been won because it is a fight against an ideology. Biafra is an ideology and not an enemy. Only fools fight ideologies with bullets. I will advise that the Nigerian Government call for a referendum on the secession of Biafra. I bet you that there are millions of Biafrans who would vote against Biafra, not because they don’t believe in Biafra but because they don’t trust the after-effects of the declaration of the sovereignty of Biafra. They are afraid that if the igbos are still divided over grey-haired issues like the OSU-Nwadiala myth, the ODIBO/ORU-OGA mentality, The inter-State dichotomy where Abia would freely deport Anambra civil servants while Anambra would not promote an Enugu civil servant beyond a certain grade level because of their state of origin and all the crinkum crankum familiar with the politics of the Igbo people. With fears like these and perhaps a few state-sponsored propaganda, Nigeria might win the referendum.
#NO2Protests #YES2Referendum #ReleaseNnamdiKanuNOW #CharlesAwuzieSPEAKS
Dr. Charles Awuzie is a South African based Nigerian pastor, succeeding businessman and prolific blogger. He blogs on www.charlesawuzie.com and tweets @pastorcharlesc.
This video has gone viral. Cursed by his Ex-GF, Now He Ejaculates Magots. Africa Thisday is still in the process of establishing contacts with the parties involved. Keep checking back on this website for more on this and many more news. Watch:
Celebrating a Hero.
The Mandela Of West Africa (MOWA)
The New Face Of Democracy in #Africa.
The man who saved Nigeria from a post-election bloodbath
The man who said that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
Happy Birthday President Goodluck Jonathan.
Millions of Nigerians have registered their love for you on social network to celebrate your birth.
PRESIDENT LUNGU PROCLAIMS OCT 18TH 2015 DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING LUSAKA, (FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015)
His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has proclaimed Sunday, 18th October 2015 as the day of Repentance, Prayer and Fasting throughout the country.
The Head of State stated that this declaration follows the overwhelming requests that ordinary citizens and the clergy from all denominations have made for this special day to be set apart for Repentance, Prayer and Fasting country wide.
In his proclamation, the President stated that the requests were justified as the countrys founding fathers and mothers found it fit to commit the nations destiny to Gods providence as evidenced by their placing of the national flag at the high altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on the 25th of October, 1964.
The President stated that the decision was inevitable in view of the many challenges that the country was faced with among them: socio-economic; disrespect for elders and a near absence of civility in discourse; high unemployment levels among the youth and high poverty levels, Kwacha depreciation including load shedding due to the power deficit.
The Head of State appealed to all the people of Zambia to assemble at their respective place of worship and spend time in prayer and fasting to seek the face of God to avert the dangers that confront the nation.
In compliance with their requests, the example of our founding fathers and my own sense of duty, I designate Sunday, the 18th of October, 2015, for this purpose, and appeal to all the people of Zambia to assemble on that day, according to their several forms of worship, to keep it solemn Fast in response to the social and economic crisis.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
(PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS)
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is the President of Zambia.
This is the Africa we hope to live in. The Africa that pray together will stay together. Share this to encourage more African countries to pray.
1. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – From The North.
2.Senate President- North.
3. Speaker of the House of Representatives- North.
4. Chief Justice of the Federation- North.
5. President of the Court of Appeal- North.
6. Chief Justice of the Federal High Court- North.
7. Secretary to the Federal Government- north.
8. Chief of Staff to the President- North.
9. Chief of Army Staff- North.
10. Chief of Air Staff- North.
11. Comptroller General of Customs- North.
12. Director-General of State Security Services (SSS)- North.
13. National Security Advisor- North.
14. Director General NIMASA- North.
15. Chairperson of the Independant Electoral Commission (INEC)- North.
16. Comptroller-General Immigration- North.
17. Accountant-General of the Federation – North.
18. Commander of Civil Defence Corps- North.
19. Chief Security Officer to the President- North.
20. ADC to the President- North.
21. Principal Secretary to the President- North.
22. Senior Special Assistant to the President on media- North.
23. Chairman of the EFCC- North.
24. Head of Service- North.
25. MD of Nigerian Ports Authority- North.
26.DG of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC)- North.
27. Chairman NDLEA- North.
NIGERIANS WANTED ”CHANGE” AND NOW WE HAVE GOT IT. NO-ONE SHOULD COMPLAIN BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT OUR PEOPLE WANTED. THOSE OF US THAT WARNED THE COUNTRY THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN WERE INSULTED AND LAMPOONED. NOW WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR CHOICE FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. WELCOME TO THE NEW NIGERIA. WELCOME TO ”CHANGE”.
The white man came here and met our ancestors answering: Chukwu, Chukwumerije, Uthando, Thandaza, Chukwuemeka, Iyanuoluwa, Chinonso, Chiebuka, Olisa, Igwe, Obasi, Orimolade etc.
While they were answering: Mr. Green, Wilberforce, Mungo Park, Mr. Bill, Mr. Bush and so many other funny names.
Yet, they claimed our ancestors did not know God and some people believed them.
How can Mr. Wilberforce teach Nze Chukwudi about God? How can Mr. Greenfield teach Thandaza about praying to God. How can Mungo Park teach Uthando about the love of God. Or Bush teach Afolorunso about the protection of God. How can Mr. Bill teach Iyanuoluwa about the Mercy of God?
That they brought Church does not mean our fore fathers were ignorant of the Supreme Being.
Our culture and that of Israeli share so many similar peculiarities, why one will be idolatry and another godly still amazes me.
Our fore fathers weren’t as evil as projected by the colonizers. They might have made one or two plunders out of the ignorance of their time. But, so also did the ancestors of the colonizers
Africa is a great continent. Africa loves God. Africa is RISING.