PIB: Buhari warned against move to withdraw subsidy, hike fuel price

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has warned the Federal Government against the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

The group urged the Buhari government to take another look at what it described as sinister plots to withdraw subsidy from petroleum products in the country, following the signing into law the controversially legislated petroleum industrial Bill (PIB).

HURIWA also dismissed as fraud the just signed PIB by President Muhammadu Buhari which concedes just three percent payout to crude oil-producing area.

The group said it (the PIB signed) “is like a man whose wife was raped consistently and he is just handed three Naira by the rapist to shut up and the rapist goes without being prosecuted in accordance with the law”.

HURIWA said the PIB must be altered fundamentally and amended transparently to give not less than 10 percent of compensation from crude oil revenues to crude oil-rich but criminally marginalised and neglected communities in Southern Nigeria.

HURIWA carpeted Southern Senators for allowing themselves to be bought over so a rubbish piece of legislation is passed as the PIB.

The rights group warned that any attempt to withdraw the subsidy would lead to the explosion of sophisticated social and organised crimes by youngsters as a result of the economic adversities.

HURIWA said it will amount to political suicide if such a pump price hike as contemplated by the government is actualized.

“Let President Muhammadu Buhari not be deceived by his anti-people and hardline posture of ordering military attacks of peaceful protesters to presume that it can simply introduce all kinds of oppressive and draconian policies and there will be peace.

“Peace will elude Nigeria if the masses are continuously impoverished by the corruption inclined government officials in the centre of administration of Nigeria at the moment.

“The President must have by now seen how destabilized some of his obnoxious policies have led to the heightened state of insecurity including commercial kidnappings and terror-related crimes, especially in the North.

“So, we urge his government not to take Nigerians for granted because what will inevitably happen is that hardship and economic crises that would erupt from fuel price hike will dovetail into much more sophisticated and devastating social and organised crimes in such a way that the legitimacy of his government would be rubbished”.

HURIWA said what the government needs to do is to reform the fuel subsidy regime, cut down on public sector corruption especially in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and then revive beneficially the moribund refineries and stop the plan to inject public funds into private refinery of a favoured ‘boy’ of government who is said to be building a private refinery to run a fuel monopoly.

HURIWA then said: “Is the current government not ashamed that refineries are working in the Niger Republic that is not bigger than Bayelsa State but the same administration is importing finished products from Niger Republic that has no crude deposits as much as we do, cannot fix, our moribund refineries transparently?”.