A youth organization in the Northern part of Nigeria, has frowned against plan to end petrol subsidy in the country.
The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), as the organisation is called has as asked government to drop the idea.
On Thursday, April 6, the Organization threatened mass action across the 19 Northern states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), if the Federal Government goes ahead with plans to remove subsidy.
They were reacting to news that the Federal Government intends to finally remove subsidy on petroleum products in June this year and already, has secured $800 million from the World Bank to use as post-subsidy palliatives.
“There is a provision in the Petroleum Industry Act that says 18 months after the effectiveness of the PIA that all petroleum products must be deregulated. That 18 month takes us to June 2023.
However, reacting to the plan the Northern youths said any attempt to remove subsidy would be resisted.
In a statement signed by President of the NYCN, Isa Abubakar, the Northern youths raised concerns over the potential impact of subsidy removal on the country’s struggling economy and the Nigerian people.
They also expressed fears that any palliative measures put in place to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal would be looted by corrupt individuals, just like the COVID-19 intervention funds.
The youths further called on the Nigerian government to reconsider its decision to remove subsidy, noting that it would only lead to an increase in the cost of living for the average Nigerian, who is already struggling to make ends meet.
They also urged the government to focus on implementing policies that would create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
“We cannot afford to have another round of hardship inflicted on the Nigerian people, especially the youth who are already grappling with high unemployment rates and a lack of opportunities.
“They should look at how some powerful governors were humiliated in the recently concluded election and understand that power now rests on the thumbs of Nigerians. Nigerians won’t forget.”
The Northern youths vowed to resist the attempt to remove subsidy, and called on other youth organizations in the country to join in resisting the policy.
“The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria has vowed to resist any attempt to remove the fuel subsidy and called on other youth organisations across the country to join in the fight to protect the interests of the Nigerian people,” the statement added.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, “when we were working on the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Appropriation Act, we made that provision to enable us to exit fuel subsidy by June 2023,”.