Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Rearview Reflection On The Fuel "subsidy" Struggle

Sahara Reporters
20 January 2012

Written by Moses Ebe Ochonu 

The worst of the stand-off between citizen groups and Nigeria’s government over a massive increase in the price of petrol now seems to be over, but the underlying problems that spooked global energy markets and threatened Nigeria’s stability in the past two weeks remain and must be addressed if the perilous trajectory of the fragile, crisis-prone country is to be corrected. The survival of Africa’s most populous country is riding on how President Jonathan responds to the accountability issues thrown up by the crisis. In the wake of such unprecedented expression of citizen clamor, key actors of the Jonathan administration who advanced the scandalously flawed argument for “subsidy removal” are pointing fingers instead of introspecting on how they misled a clueless president and almost brought down his government. Everyone is trying to save themselves from the wrath of the public, which has not dissipated with the partial reduction of petrol pump price.

The casualty in the revelations coming from the subsidy hearings is the truth. Instead of getting clarity we’re left to sift the conflicting claims of those who recently presented a united front in support of the fuel price increase.

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