#OccupyNigeria We Got It Wrong

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The current fuel scarcity is basically triggered by a dispute over the amount of money owed to Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

MOMAN claims the Federal Government owes them about 200 billion Naira while the Federal Government claims it is only about 131 billion Naira. At the end of the day I don’t think the government has the money to pay them whether 131 billion or 200 billion Naira because we have lost so much from the falling oil prices…

But this issue is not just about the falling Oil prices … it goes all the way back to 2012 when Nigeria joined the Arab Spring Uprising to protest fuel subsidy removal. Everyone with sense said it had to go … Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and others. But most Nigerians did not listen, we wanted our own Arab Spring by force so we protested and pushed for an unsustainable subsidy and that is what is killing us TODAY!

I mean we filled the streets of Lagos to keep fuel at a subsidized cost of 70 Naira per liter in 2012 but today we are sleeping in filling stations just to buy fuel at 490 Naira PLUS per liter! #irony

fuel subsidyNow, if Buhari comes into power tomorrow and does SuperMan all day everyday but does not remove fuel subsidy we would be in the same situation as today. Because fuel subsidy ties up our budget (1.1 trillion naira spent on subsidy) and with that much money tied up, we don’t have ability/capacity to build or fix our refineries … And it is only when we have fully functional refineries that we can have a crack at implementing fuel subsidy. #fact

But its all politics at the end of the day, because APC and any sensible leader knows that we have to remove fuel subsidy to develop Nigeria. But the issue is how does APC pull it off without saying 2012 GEJ was right?

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twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Ofili

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Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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31 comments on “#OccupyNigeria We Got It Wrong

  1. The Okwukwe on said:

    Lol, nice question.

    They’d have to admit GEJ 2012 was right and then, clean up the mess. Quite simple to type, quite hard to admit.

  2. Nuratu on said:

    You forget that in 2012, the subsidy was partially reduced which led to an increase to 97box. Have we felt the impart of the partial removal? Its been 3 years since partial removal, where are the refineries promised? Have u assessed SURE-P to know whether it succeeded in its mandate?
    I protested the subsidy not because I felt PMS would become expensive, I protested because I did not want the government managing the funds which will have no impart. You guys should call a spade and spade and admit that whatever problem we face now is as a result of the recklessness of the government. The government hav no money to pay Oil marketers but they had more than enough to throw during campaign and non of you complained then.
    Buhari is not even there yet and you are gearing up to condemn. Apparently even if he turns things around , you will attribute it to the foundation of GEJ. Why are you guys like this. Nawa, Na real wa….
    I was part of the protest and have no regrets. I will do it all over again.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      You did not want the government managing the funds? With or without fuel subsidy removal the government manages the funds. So I am really lost on your point.

      On campaign funding, I laugh in pidgin. Where do you think APC got the money they campaigned with? Look this is not about PDP vs APC it is logic versus politics. Logic should have won in 2012 but politics won.

  3. Nonso on said:

    IMO, Nigerians protested against hardship in January! If the government of the decided to call it Subsidy Removal, na dem sabi. The real question is why is there a need for the Fuel Subsidy in the first place?

    The current fuel scarcity is a product of corruption, impunity, and all forms mismanagement of the nation’s resources. We need leaders that will take us out of this mess and point us back to the path of greatness. I pray Buhari will lead us right.

    • Em sorry but Nigeria protested against fuel subsidy removal which is linked to poverty. And the poverty factor will not eliminate if Buhari decides to tackle fuel subsidy removal.

      • Nonso on said:

        But the big question remains unanswered: why do we need the subsidy in the first place?

        If you are blaming Nigerians for bad leadership, then, yes, we got it wrong. Are we also wrong for protesting against hardship? So, emmm, sorry, Nigerians protested against suffer suffer! We were not wrong!

  4. Gbonju on said:

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. We did get it wrong in 2012, and the government has been getting it wrong for much longer. The subsidy has cost us so much more than the ‘savings’ we make on each litre of fuel we buy. It allows Nigeria to continue to use the oil sector as a plaster for all the challenges our country faces, instead of building long term solutions to them.

    In a recent interview on CNN, NOI stated that the oil and gas sector only accounts for about 15% of our GDP (I think…might not be exactly right but it’s not far off) and that the majority of our GDP comes from the services sector, therefore Nigeria is an economy which isn’t dependent on oil. Here we are in a terrible situation of fuel scarcity and those very services which drive our economy are slowly shutting down because we do not have petrol to power our vehicles, diesel to power our generators and gas to cook our meals. So please, how is our economy not dependent on oil? It is counter intuitive to continue to import something that we so heavily rely on and then slap a subsidy on it especially when we have the raw materials to make it ourselves. The new government has a lot of work on their hands. I agree, subsidy removal must be paramount, but that money has to be diverted to developing our refineries and national power grid! Imagine what a giant Nigeria would be if we could get those right?

  5. toyin on said:

    We also argue these issue yesterday and we come to a conclusion like these the PDP say if buhari insist on fuel subsidy then they will protest over it too n these tag will #OccupyBuhariNow but the APC says the fuel subsidy should remain n my mine the PDP should not protest because it is d only tin they can be proud of in THEIR presido (I no mean any harm oooo)

  6. Truth is Nigerians have a very short memory. The same gullible nigerians who took part in the APC-sponsored protests arenow reasoning in the sense of subsidy removal. Truth is, our bandwagin way of reasoning limits plenty from actually ‘reasoning’.

    Where is the TUC/NLC that also pushed the protests in 2012? Why didn’t they call for protests this time around? The game of politics is a DIRTY one world over! The masses will always bear the brunt if they perpetually remain ‘thought-less’and shallow in their way of reasoning.

    Buhari will remove subsidy, APC will circumvently adduce the action not to the credit of GEJ administration rather, they would draw an imaginery line differentiating the manner of their removal with that of PDP’s or GEJ’s. One thing is certain, there are consequences for our gullibility as a people. Time will tell!

  7. yemi on said:

    Every government in power from 1999 knew that subsidy removal is the way forward. With this I will not be drawn to making it look like it was Jonathan’s masterstroke that was scuttled by #OccupyNigeria. If you were aware of what the organizers of #OccupyNigeria mobilized for…it was not because subsidy removal wasn’t good but the fact that a government that hasn’t been prudent the the much it has can’t be trusted with subsidy removal. A spendthrift government, that doesn’t want to cut cost of governance can’t be allowed removal of subsidy as more hardship on the citizenry.
    Come to think of it that President Yar’a dual removed subsidy on kerosene but your dear PGEJ and his cohorts are still paying subsidy on it according to PWC report.
    Let me rest here.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      “Every government in power from 1999 knew that subsidy removal is the way forward” <— and how many of them proposed removing it?

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      ” If you were aware of what the organizers of #OccupyNigeria mobilized for…it was not because subsidy removal wasn’t good but the fact that a government that hasn’t been prudent the the much it has can’t be trusted with subsidy removal.” <— emm sorry but what I remember was the Fuel Subsidy removal was touted as an evil to the Poor. Regarding the government not being trusted, this was GEJ that had just beat Buhari and Ribadu in May 2011 proposing something in January 2012, so did he lose the trust in 7 months? Look Fuel Subsidy removal was politicized.

      • yemi on said:

        Obviously it was an evil to the poor is the government can’t cut the cost of governance,if the government refuse to improve production of our refineries nor show a road map towards doing so.

        I am sure you voted for him in 2011 and I’m very sure you didn’t trust him to the extent of subsidy removal… I never did and I will never celebrate cluelessness and people that are reminded of their power. e.g power to hire and fire.

  8. Dave on said:

    True, every sensible Nigerian knew eventually, subsidy would be removed as it was with diesel. However, we cannot also ignore the fact that we had reservations these subsidy cuts would be used prudently. Obviously we cant really point out exactly what the money the govt claism to have saved has bn used for. Imagine 1.1trillion naira about 20% of our anual budget, mismanaged by a few…it certainly necessitates #occupying something. But we have now felt the pain these marketers are capable of inflicting subsidy or no subsidy…it should’nt matter now who was right or wrong.

  9. edidiong on said:

    Ofili I do no remember any article by u back in 2012 in support of subsidy removal, if u did comment, I totally missed it, and believe me, I read u very regularly. With the benefit of hindsight, even a fool will appear smart, we can bash the ‘gullible’ masses all we want, but anyone who posits that subsidy removal is the magic wand that will heal our near comatose economy is either being mischievous or downright deluded, I say so myself! Yes, Nigerians protested subsidy removal, but the essence of that protest was the lack of trust between the ppl and their government, not subsidy removal per se, and were they right! The very plan on how the proceeds were to be utilized was bewildering, the money would just merely be shared! Today I know of an LGA chairman who doles out ‘his’ own share of the sureP money to his retinue of jobless youths who form the core of his supporters, is that why we accepted the partial removal? How will that reduce poverty. Those pillorying the masses now have conveniently forgotten how the chairman of sureP, Sir Kolade resigned in order not to be dragged into the mess? In the end, subsidy removal by Jonathan was nothing other than indirect taxation, something NOI is very adept at. Subsidy removal is required, but is not the principal thing – integrity and sincerity of purpose by government is.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      *Ofili I do no remember any article by u back in 2012 in support of subsidy removal*

      And did you see an article from me in support of Occupy Nigeria? Also I am not sure how whether or not I wrote an article in 2012, affects the logic of the above article.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      *Yes, Nigerians protested subsidy removal, but the essence of that protest was the lack of trust between the ppl and their government, not subsidy removal per se, and were they right! *

      You realize that with our without subsidy removal the government can still screw you over? Also nobody said that Fuel Subsidy removal is the magic wand repair for Nigeria. That is you misreading as you see fit.

      Lastly Buhari is in power, let’s wait and see how “Nigeria” will react when he proposes Fuel Subsidy removal…

  10. Igbegocho on said:

    Okechukwu as you are not my friend on FB I cannot say you spied my post before you wrote this so i will re-post it here before I continue.
    “Nigerians may God deliver us from our mumu. Say Amen oh (pulling right ear). When we were on the road occupying Nigeria no be on top this subsidy issue? Now that the poor woman says she will not pay fraudulent claims Nigeria was shutting down. I remember the interview Sanusi and Okonjo did explaining this matter that time and I asked myself so why are people still complaining? This period that you are buying fuel for as high as 500 did you complain? Always think long term not the present.”
    Those of you that have a problem with the way funds are managed by government officials in this country need to remember that government officials are a representation of many Nigerians. The truth is, what they are doing is what many Nigerians are doing at their various jobs as well.
    When and only when we begin to take responsibility for our actions and can caution our family members that are doing wrong as well, only then are we going to see the change we so desperately desire. For as long as we continue to enjoy getting our own share with no mind as to how it was gotten, please refrain from making too much noise about other people.

  11. Samuel on said:

    the subsidy of a thing, flew from 250plus bn to 1.3tr in 2011 under just 3months, don’t expect any sane citizen that will bear the cost to accept is removal. With the #41 removed and diverted to SureP, can you in all honesty say the FG manage the SureP the way it ought to. I understand your reasoning of always trying to have a different perspective to issues(essence of been human), but bro, you are wrong on this Nigerians were right. Those clamouring for subsidy removal during this few days of scarcity are virtually associated to the sitting party. Governors, aides, associates, media crew, etc.

  12. Samuel on said:

    NO, I don’t believe in gov’t giving freebies to its citizens, but for a gov’t that shows all form of irresponsibility and non prudent acts, the citizens are not wrong to demand for a legitimate, legal and logical welfare package from such government.

  13. Omooba on said:

    Now this conversation as been interesting…

    This is my take: subsidy payments jumped from about 250B NGN to 1.3T NGN from 2010 to 2011… for me the difference in the two years is not that more cars using the PMS are now been used, but that we had a very expensive general election in 2011 that they needed to write off.

    I protested in 2012 for 2 reasons: the disparity in the subsidy payments, and the fact then that we didn’t have any empirical way of knowing the exact amount of fuel we use and by extension the exact amount of subsidy payments due. As at January 2012, PPPRA, NNPC and MOMAN were giving deferring figures. How could we in sound mind give the FG that can’t get a simple fact straight the right to increase the pump price based on what is arguably a corrupt premise. I protested then, not because the price changed, but because it changed to pay for the corruption of the officials of government and some few people.

    I have bought fuel at up to 300 per litre in this scarcity and I am still not calling for the removal of subsidy!

    Like in 2012, if the subsidy is removed by Buhari without successful effort in resuscitation of our refineries and/or building or causing to be built new ones… then I will protest again. I wasn’t wrong in 2012 and I’m not going to do it again!

    • Aniedi on said:

      What are you gaining from the fuel subsidy? And I can bet my life you won’t protest if the fuel subsidy is removed in 2015 by Buhari.

      By the way, how much is petrol per litre in neighbouring Benin? Ghana?

      • Omooba on said:

        If Buhari removes subsidy without 1st fixing local refining, I will protest like I did in January 2012. For me, it’s the principle not the final price. Ultimately, the principle drives the price… The current principle is corruption fuelled by the premise of lack of openness in the industry. That for me is the reason I will protest whenever the government directly passes the cost of their corruption and/or inefficiency to me.

        And by the way, I don’t live in Ghana or Rep of Benin, and I sincerely don’t know what fuel is sold for there. Even if I do, I don’t see how it affects me.

        • Aniedi Udo on said:

          You do (or Do you) understand that fixing local refining is not going to happen overnight.(?) And that Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of those 30+ year old refineries will take 12 – 24 months, especially because of the corruption in the system, TAM contracts have to be re-bidded for transparently, awarded and executed.

          Your position on fixing local refining before subsidy removal is akin to asking Obasanjo in 2000 to fix NITEL before selling GSM licenses.

          The cost of fuel in Benin & Ghana – 3.08GHS (approx. NGN200) as at 13 May 2015 – affects you because that is where your subsidized-by-the-Federal-Government (with your money) fuel is smuggled to & sold at a lucrative 100+% profit.

          • Omooba on said:

            No, fixing local refining isn’t going to happen overnight. I’m not even in support of TAM of the existing refineries under NNPC – we’ve done that too many times to know it’s not going to work. My personal take in terms of local refining is privatize the refineries, unbundle NNPC and let them regulate and not operate (now, that’s the simplified version, I don’t have space here and time for the full version).

            I don’t see how GSM licenses can be compared to my position on fixing local refining… Not even close!

            And about fuel pricing in the rest of West Africa, it’s not my job to secure our borders and tidy-up imports and distribution records – that’s

          • Omooba on said:

            No, fixing local refining isn’t going to happen overnight (if FG is serious about this, it would have been done! We didn’t just start hearing this today… the FG has been ‘fixing’ local refining forever!).

            And by the way, I’m not in support of TAM of the existing refineries under NNPC – we’ve done that too many times to know it’s not going to work. Part of my personal opinion in terms of local refining is privatize the refineries, unbundle NNPC and let them regulate and not operate, particularly in the downstream (now, that’s the simplified version, I don’t have space here and time for the full version).

            I don’t see how GSM licenses can be compared to my position on fixing local refining… Not even close!

            And about fuel pricing in the rest of West Africa, it’s not my job to secure our borders and tidy-up imports and distribution records, monitor distribution and deal with corruption – that’s for different agencies of the FG. If they can’t handle that, they shouldn’t suggest that I should willingly pay for their inadequacies!

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