With less than a month to the end of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, a stage appears set for a showdown between the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari and the vast majority of Nigerians.
The development, which has already started generating tension across the country, is largely seen as a landmine on the way of the incoming administration.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have urged the incoming Buhari’s administration against the removal of fuel subsidy from petroleum products.
Speaking on Wednesday, Deputy President of the NLC and chairman of the joint May Day celebration of the NLC and TUC, Peter Adeyemi, told journalists that organised Labour believed that government had never subsidised petroleum products.
He said: “If you are asking whether we will back the removal of fuel subsidy, the answer is no. It is not as easy as that. You know that it has been a very contentious issue over the years. We have always said that there is nothing like subsidy. It is all about corruption.
“Let me take your mind back and say that this same issue has been something that numerous government have embarked upon without an end. During the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, this exercise was embarked upon by the government about 11 times and both the NLC and the TUC engaged the government.
“So, it is like the more you look, the less you see. For us in Labour, we are not going to support that because it is outside our mandate as leaders. We hope that the incoming government, in a desperate bid to look for money, will not look for money in the wrong place”.
The Chairman, Joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Mohammed Maccido confirmed that the executive did not make provision for subsidy in the 2015 budget and that the National Assembly left it the way it was presented.
“There was no provision in the budget for subsidy but I believe there should be provision for it especially since there was already, a disagreement between the oil marketers and the federal government over subsidy payment”, he said.