“…attaching the removal of subsidy to a milestone: Give us so-so megawatts of electricity and remove so-so billions of subsidy.”
It has become abundantly obvious in recent times that the Nigerian government has and follow a different set of rules for proper governance.
Their ‘promise and fail’ machinery which has been operational, perfected and in full swing since the 1960s has reached an unpleasant crescendo.
The removal of fuel subsidy, a plan that promises dividends which in theory are commendable but in reality are laughable, may just be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back (if we don’t end up using them as transportation).
The Federal Government has hitherto grossly mismanaged resources-tangible and intangible- meant for the betterment of the nation and its citizenry and in their special ‘Handbook of Governance’, the best way to resolve the knot which their reckless actions have left us in, is to levy hardship on the citizens.
In very little time since the removal of subsidy, cost of living has risen and is still rising by never-before-seen percentages and that does not describe the horror well enough. The Federal Government particularly the Presidency, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Petroleum and the Central Bank Governor have tackled the horror tales by insinuating that the hardship will be short-lived and that begs some questions:
Were Nigerians not paying steep enough prices for their citizenship before subsidy was removed? Where expenses sporadically increase and income remains unchanged, how much of a chance for survival is there?
The people have taken to the streets and rightly so! We cannot bear to watch idly anymore neither can we afford any niceties. The sugarcoated promises of channeling funds accrued from the removal of subsidy to infrastructural projects, as novel and utopian as it may look on paper, carries very little value if mirrored alongside prior behavioural patterns of the government.
The everyday cynic, schooled and groomed by the Nigerian society mind you, expects a carefully drafted but largely vague excuse or reason to be alluded to as a cause for failure of the would-be projects. While optimists may advocate for the government to be given a chance, they must take into account, the fact that mortgaging our collective futures on the word of a selected few who history has shown as hardly deserving of our trust will not only be foolhardy but will amount to intentional suicide.
The trust deficit did not materialize by error or magic, it is a consequence of decades of broken promises and thus it cannot be fixed by a rabbit-out-of-hat trick but must be slowly repaired. The government has refused to even mention a reduction in their rather exorbitant remunerations which dwarfs that of the American government, neither have they received, thought of or acted upon valid suggestions raised at the various town hall meetings they organized. One of such suggestions was attaching the removal of subsidy to a milestone: Give us so-so megawatts of electricity and removeso-so billions of subsidy. Many other suggestions were raised but the government rather predictably has not, as far we know, taken them into consideration instead they have treaded the path blazed by previous regimes, promising transformation but delivering asphyfixation of our hopes, dreams and to a large extent, our lives.
As the price of fuel astronomically increased, so did cost of living. Bills are mounting, there are mouths to be fed, children to be educated and
households to run. Whilst income remains the same, all we have to make up for the extra expenses is the word of the government. Sadly, that is not exactly something we can take to the bank.