House of Representatives, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to provide palliatives for Nigerians due to the hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidy by the President Bola Tinubu administration.
The House at its plenary specifically urged Federal Government to “as a matter of urgency, implement palliative measures to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerian citizens.”
It also mandated its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, when constituted, to ensure compliance with the resolution and give its report within two weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions were based on the unanimous adoption of motion of urgent public importance titled, ‘Urgent Need to Implement Palliative Measures to Mitigate the Effects of Fuel Subsidy Removal on Nigerians.’
Representative Sani Madaki, who sponsored the motion, recalled how President Tinubu, in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, announced the removal of fuel subsidy.
Madaki said as a result of the subsidy removal, the official pump price of petrol shot up from the initial N195 per litre to a whopping N480–N577 per litre as the prices varied between states.
According to him, “The House is concerned that the implication of over 200 per cent price adjustment in fuel prices is that nearly all prices of goods and services have drastically increased;
“The House is also concerned that the sudden fuel subsidy removal has left millions of Nigerians terrified, thus causing untold hardships, as Nigerians grapple with the challenges of meeting up with, not only the high cost of petrol but also the consequent increase in the prices of goods and services.
“In response to the resulting financial strain of the subsidy removal on public workers, some proactive state governments introduced temporary measures to alleviate the situation by reducing work days from five to three days per week for the state-employed workers, pending when other sustainable palliatives can be provided.”
The lawmaker also recalled how the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress recently suspended a planned strike over the removal of fuel subsidy in the hopes that the Federal Government would address its adverse effects on workers.
He also noted a presidential directive to put palliative measures in place to ameliorate the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians.
Madaki added, “The House is worried that the Federal Government is yet to provide palliative measures to mitigate the impact of the subsidy removal on Federal Government workers. The House is also worried that since the removal of the subsidy, several protests have been recorded as citizens accuse the government of being insensitive to their needs.
“The House is cognisant of the need to put in place measures to protect the rights of citizens and prioritise the provision of palliatives to mitigate the challenges that have arisen from the fuel subsidy removal, and ensure a more sustainable and inclusive economic framework for the benefit of Nigerians.”