The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has opposed the plan by President Bola Tinubu to enforce his predecessor’s decision to remove fuel subsidy by June ending.
Tinubu had earlier on Monday, in Abuja, affirmed that his administration would put an end to subsidy payment on petroleum products.
While giving his inaugural speech on Monday, Tinubu had declared “the fuel subsidy is gone!” noting that “Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.”
He added that his administration will instead “re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.”
In their reaction, IPMAN through its National Public Relations Officer, Ukadike Chinedu, opposed the new president’s subsidy removal plan.
“We are not in support of the removal of fuel subsidy at this time. We have said it repeatedly that our refineries should be fixed before taking such a decision that will cause galloping inflation and inflict more hardship on the masses.
“The government of President Tinubu should not adopt what is in the transition document handed over to it by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. Someone (Buhari) who for eight years did not remove subsidy is advising a new government to remove it.
“That is not fair and should not be adopted. Rather the new government should sit and discuss with marketers and other stakeholders on how to manage the fuel subsidy regime. We now have the Dangote Refinery, but all our refineries are still not working, so we don’t think removing subsidy is the right thing to do now,” Ukadike stated.
He also added that IPMAN was ready to dialogue with the new government and would proffer measures to address the fuel subsidy regime, instead of effecting an outright halt in subsidy.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have begun to bear the brunt of the announcement, with consumers paying double of their usual fares to their respective destinations after queues returned to filling stations not less than two hours after he made the declaration.