Saturday, January 21, 2012

Subsidy: Oshiomhole Rolls out Palliatives, Abolishes School Fees

This Day
20 January 2012

Many had been surprised, if not disappointed, that Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole had not only quietly supported the removal of subsidy from petroleum products, he even mounted the rostrum to rationalise it.

He had been an unyielding fighter against the removal of subsidy or just the raise of the price of petroleum products while he served as the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He had argued furtively then, against what he had always described as the oppressive policies of the bourgeois, and dismissed such anti-people programmes as the antics of neo-liberals. It earned him not only the popularity with which he won the gubernatorial contest in Edo State, it defined his image and person as the “Comrade Governor” - the only such epithet in the country.

However, in campaigning for the removal of subsidy on petrol, Oshiomhole had stressed and demanded that the incomes or savings from the removal must be felt and seen by the people.

Thursday, he showed an example of how the subsidy gains can be seen and felt by the people of the state, when, in a statewide broadcast, he announced sets of palliatives that should cushion the hardship being experienced by the people arising from the recent increase in the price of petrol, even when he has not exactly known what will accrue to the state as a result of the “partial subsidy” now removed. As previously planned, the state was billed to receive annual subsidy income of N9.4 billion.

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