President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged by the health workers, under the auspices of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), to suspend the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
Reacting to the current situation, the association made eight demands from the incumbent government in a statement signed and made available to newsmen on Tuesday by the National President and Secretary-General of the association, Dr Sofiri Starson Peterside Jnr and Dr Enobong Akpan, respectively.
While delivering his inaugural speech last month, Naija News recalls that President Tinubu announced that there was no provision for fuel subsidy in the year’s budget. Hence, the practice is gone. According to him, the subsidy could no longer justify its ever-increasing costs due to drying resources.
Tinubu, however, promised to re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that would materially improve the lives of millions.
However, NAGGMDP urged the Federal Government to urgently suspend the removal of fuel subsidy and revert to the old pump price of PMS to avert the looming multisectoral industrial disharmony that may grind Nigeria to a halt.
The workers’ association also appealed to the incumbent government to put measures to stop crude oil theft, secure the country’s borders and stop leakages within the oil and gas sector.
Below is NAGGMDP’s statement which reeled out their eight demands from Tinubu government:
“That we strongly align in solidarity with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and call on the Federal Government to urgently suspend the removal of fuel subsidy and revert to the old pump price of PMS to avert the looming multisectoral industrial disharmony that may grind the country to a halt.
“That our refineries should be revamped to functional capacity as soon as possible, and licenses should be given for the establishment of more refineries to encourage local production of Petroleum products.
“The Federal Government should institute measures to stop crude oil theft, secure our borders and stop leakages within the oil and gas sector.
“There should be a committee set up by the Federal Government to audit the subsidy regime since its inception and the use of funds recurrently allocated for the repair of our refineries and that the culprits brought to book.
“There is an urgent need for the Federal Government to strengthen healthcare financing by ensuring at least 15% budgetary allocation to the health sector. There is also a need to achieve universal health coverage through primary healthcare and National/State health insurance schemes across the country in order to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and guarantee accessible and affordable healthcare.
NAGGMDP also urged the Federal Government to set up a robust economic team that will establish cushioning measures to protect citizens when the subsidy is eventually removed.
It insisted that priority should be given to measures to address the country’s widespread hunger and poverty. “They should also bring on palliative board measures to mitigate the impact of the eventual subsidy removal on citizens, especially those on low incomes,” the workers’ association added, stressing that the Federal Government, in the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, should take measures to cut down the cost of governance by the Executive and the National Assembly, reduce borrowing, and channel such funds to other critical sectors of the economy, including minimum wage increase.
“The Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration should demonstrate empathy to the citizens of this country by doing what is necessary to alleviate the suffering of the Nigerian people,” the statement added.