NEWS

Agbese, representative for Benue, calls on labor to engage in talks

Dr. Philip Agbese, the Deputy Spokesman for the House of Representatives, has urged labor unions to enter into negotiations to end the impasse over the elimination of gasoline price subsidies in Nigeria.

On Wednesday in Abuja, Dr.Agbese, who represents the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency, addressed the media.

The elimination of the fuel subsidy, he informed the Nigerian people, is in their best interest under President Bola Tinubu.

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He acknowledged that fuel subsidies have been commonplace in the country since the 1970s, with the government habitually offering gasoline to civilians at prices below cost.

He pointed out that the cost of gasoline subsidies has grown steadily larger, and he said that the regime has only enriched a select few.

According to Agbese, the government spent more on subsidies under the Buhari administration (2015-2023) than it did on the nation’s schools, hospitals, and roads combined.

He concedes that President Tinubu’s choice to terminate the regime was not without cost, but he is confident that Nigerians will ultimately celebrate.

He claims that the gasoline subsidy is responsible for half of the problems facing the country and that eliminating it will bring in a golden age for the nation.

He assured the working class that the money saved by the strategy would be put toward improvement initiatives and advised them not to give in to agents of instability.

“President Tinubu deserves praise for taking the risky action that will safeguard our country’s future. It was no longer possible to provide a fuel subsidy, he claimed.

Every liter of gasoline purchased in Nigeria receives a subsidy of at least N600 per day, amounting to a daily expenditure of nearly N40.1 billion. That’s a monthly cost of N1.24 trillion for fuel subsidies from the government.

Increasing gasoline subsidies would add significantly to the country’s already enormous debt. In 2023, the government is expected to save almost two trillion naira ($2.6 billion), or 0.9% of GDP, according to projections made by the World Bank. By 2025’s conclusion, it is estimated that these cost-cutting measures will have saved over 11 trillion naira ($14.3bn).

Health care, schools, and roads will all benefit from these funds. Indeed, the benefits of subsidy elimination would not immediately become apparent. The state of the economy makes that impossible. Unfortunately, we lack the resources to immediately begin enacting steps that would mitigate the impact of the subsidy’s elimination.

But we have to think about the future. Our magnificent country’s future is at risk. I applaud President Tinubu for taking such a bold step. Nigerians will be laughing and smiling again soon.

In addition, I’d like to use this forum to urge the Organized Labour to resist the pressure of those who seek to destabilize the situation and bring us backwards. The Asiwaju administration places a high priority on improving citizens’ access to palliative care and welfare.

Another huge uprising would be too much for our country to handle. We intend to construct, rather than demolish. As a result, Labour should give talks a chance and show some tolerance for the current administration. It’s early on,” he said.

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