Nigeria Groans Under Subsidy Yoke

TELL Cover page

TELL Cover page

The car was there last week, resting on its belly, being a remnant of a fire incident said to have started from within. The story is that fuel in a leaking container in the booth of the car started the fire on contact with the hot exhaust. That car, now abandoned in front of a secondary school in Lagos, may just be waiting for officials of Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA to evacuate. Perhaps it would not have caused the fellow that sorrow if there was no fuel scarcity. More of such incidents occur daily on inter-state roads, often times involving lives, because drivers buy fuel in kegs while going on long distances where fuel is either hard to come by or very expensive.

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But what we see readily is the return of the long queues at the filling stations across the country. Even in that what is not easily seen is the loss of man-hour, the stress, both financially and health wise. Now this stress is not just on the personal level, it also manifests at the macro-level, dealing a blow on the national economy.

When that happens the common man, who is said to be the reason for the regime of subsidy, suffers greatly. Subsidy is paid [government dares not joke with the marketers], and that ensures that there is little amount of money left for capital expenditure, yet the goal of that subsidy payment is hardly ever achieved. And because there is no money to fix the roads, commuters languish in vehicles damaged by the poor roads and still pay so much to get to their destinations. What is to be done?

The editorial board asked Salif Atojoko, deputy general editor, Business and Special project to look into the issue, speak to people within and outside the industry on what is happening and the way out. What he came back with is in the story, Nigeria Groans Under Subsidy Yoke.

The story is supported by an ex-ray of the political logjam in Kogi state. Whose interpretation of the situation is right in claiming victory, Biodun Faleke, deputy governorship candidate of the APC or Idris Wada, incumbent governor and candidate of PDP? Is INEC on the path of law when it said that APC should present a substitute for the late Audu Abubakar or did its legal team, or the attorney general mislead it? There is a puzzle here. That is what Tajudeen Suleiman, senior associate editor tries to unravel in the story, Kogi: A Test for INEC.

The same INEC will again take up another challenge in Bayelsa, where two local political heavy weights are slugging it out this weekend. Emmanuel Obe, associate editor has the task of assessing the expectations on both sides in Bayelsa Decides.

 

Oh, sorry! Random Jottings, your favourite column is taking a break this week. But it will return next week, by His grace! However, the other regulars are in place. Happy reading!

 

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