Current petrol pump price hike, hardship’ll not be permanent, Babalola tells Nigerians
*Urges oil marketers to be fair
A former Kwara State governorship aspirant, Pastor Engineer Sunday
Adebayo Babalola, on Thursday, empathised with Nigerians over the
current hardship they are going through as a result of the removal of
subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol or fuel.
He stated that the current hardship will not be permanent, adding that
they should endure and persevere.
In an interview with journalists, he urged them to only spend on
essential things and cut costs.
Babalola, a retired Deputy Director of the defunct Department of
Petroleum Resources, urged the Federal Government under President Bola
Tinubu and the organised labour to avert the impending strike.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, gave the Federal Government a
seven-day ultimatum to reverse all perceived anti-poor policies,
including the recent hike in the pump price of petrol, or face an
indefinite nationwide strike from August 2.
He said the strike threat by the NLC, if not averted, could plunge
Nigeria into deeper economic woes and more hardship for Nigerians.
He said would further dislocate businesses and lead to unquantified
financial losses and reduce Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
He urged the FG and labour to dialogue, adding that labour should not
go ahead with the strike.
He also called on the FG to display fidelity to its promises to
Nigerians and agreement with labour as a way of averting the strike
and cushioning the hardship Nigerians have been plunged into since the
removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called
petrol or fuel.
The energy expert advised oil marketers to be fair in their dealings
Babalola said, ”We should be patient. This hike will settle itself
out. When they removed the subsidy on diesel, 3, or 4 months ago, we
were buying diesel for about N1000 per litre. But right now, it has
come down to N600 per litre. So it will be moving up and down. Now
Nigerians should also be sure that whatever is happening now is
temporary. It will abate. I want to assure Nigerians that hard times
never last but tough people do. The hard times will, without doubt, go
“I want to advise Nigerians to cut costs from those things that they
are doing that are sincerely not necessary. For somebody you want to
call and discuss something, call the person on the phone and not you
must see the person. There is a saying that ‘talk is in the eye.’ You
do not need to see the person before you talk. So cut unnecessary
expenditure. If and do those things that are truly necessary,
everything will eventually stabilise. It is better for us to go
through this than for us to pretend that we are doing subsidies
whereas a few are embezzling the nation’s treasure.
“The marketers should import the refined product. It is now an open
system. I want to advise everybody that this thing is not one-way
traffic. So many things will be affected by what we are doing now. The
exchange rate will affect it, oil prices will affect it.
“The government should just be focused and do the right thing. They
have the facts. They have the data. My advice will be based on what we
read in the newspapers and hear on the television news. But the real
advice is if you have the raw data and you analyse it. Then you can
give proper advice. But on the surface, they should be focused.
The issue of palliative subsidy should be totally de-emphasised because we
do not have good statistics that will clearly show who is getting
what. So we will be enriching a few people.
. A few years ago, we had
pensioners’ money eaten and some people who are there are still
looking for a way to make money out of government. They will just
raise a few people or the same set of people who will now find ways to
corner the money. Even without NIN, there are fake accounts. You can
see it because a lot of people are still doing 419.