Arewa Economic Forum Urges President Tinubu to Reconsider Fuel Subsidy Removal

The Arewa Economic Forum (AEF) has reiterated its call for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reconsider the petrol subsidy policy implemented by his administration on May 29, 2023. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the forum’s chairman, Ibrahim Shehu Dandakata, underscored the forum’s concern that state governors are the primary beneficiaries of the subsidy removal, with limited reinvestment in stimulating state economies or providing relief for citizens.

Dandakata pointed out, “We have observed that the substantial funds available to state governors are not being reinvested to stimulate state economies or utilised to provide relief for the citizens.” Despite increased Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements, some states have failed to translate these funds into tangible improvements for their residents.

While acknowledging President Tinubu’s pre-election commitment to removing fuel subsidies, Dandakata expressed worry about the unforeseen hardships resulting from this decision. He emphasized that, despite the subsidy removal leading to substantial FAAC increases, its impact on the masses’ lives remains questionable.

The AEF chairman urged President Tinubu to reassess the subsidy removal policy and consider redirecting additional funds provided to states towards reinstating Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies. Dandakata stressed the urgency of action, suggesting that if the President is unable to compel governors to be more accountable within constitutional bounds, reconsideration of the policy is crucial.

Addressing the proposal for state police, Dandakata voiced reservations, expressing concerns about potential misuse by governors for political purposes. Instead, he proposed the revival and expansion of the Police Constabulary at the federal level, with states required to provide necessary logistical support for localized policing initiatives.

Regarding the ongoing forex crisis, Dandakata called upon the federal government to demonstrate the political resolve needed to stabilize the Naira’s value against the rising dollar, emphasizing that the dollar is not a legal tender in Nigeria.

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