Author: Muktar Usman
This is an essay spread over five articles dealing with the initial removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria on the 1st of January 2012 which caused price of fuel to shoot up from its subsidised rate of N65 per litre to N140. (N=Naira: Nigerian Currency).
I recently reread the inaugural address of J. F. Kennedy, which was delivered on the 20th of January 1961. Of the one thousand three hundred plus words written on the paper, nineteen still resonate in my mind with a clarity only words of profound wisdom possess: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”. The unilateral and abrupt removal of fuel subsidy on New Year’s Day of 2012, without having first put in place effective palliative measures to cushion the inflationary impact of the removal policy on the mass of poor and already impoverished Nigerians, makes it appropriate to remind Nigerian policy makers of those nineteen words and the dangers inherent in continuing to build a paradise for the rich and powerful on the withered backs of the poor and disenfranchised.