The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has cautioned the federal government against the removal of fuel subsidy, describing the move as one that could be detrimental to the citizens and the country’s economy at large.
In a statement issued on Monday by Nwankwo Ezekiel, public relations officer, NANS, said after wide consultations with the majority of its affiliate member unions and its structures as well as past leaders, it has taken the decision not to support any administrations that gives no provision for fuel subsidy.
The association enjoined the National Assembly to examine their approved budget and ensure that provisions are made for fuel subsidy before forwarding it to the President. It also called on President Goodluck Jonathan not to approve the budget if there was no provision for fuel subsidy in it. “The incoming administration has said so much about blocking leakages and we believe that the subsidy provisions are not part of the leakages to be blocked. The subsidy is almost the only benefit the poor Nigerian masses derive from our abundant petroleum resources,” the NANS’ statement partly read.
It recalled the 2012 ‘Occupy Protest’ when Nigerians collectively rose against the removal almost crippling the national economy. While noting that Nigeria’s economy is solely dependent on oil, the Nigerian students said any drastic hikes in price of fuel would trigger hyperinflation and hardship and vowed to take it as a duty point to lead agitations against removal of fuel subsidy.
NANS called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, broaden the foreign exchange earnings of the country through other means and diversify the economy.