The President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, Sunday said the planned removal of subsidy on petrol production will further aggravate the suffering of Nigerians.
Bishop Wale Oke in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan cautioned that the Federal Government should have a rethink as the proposed subsidy removal will lead to hike in the price of petroleum.
The PFN President stressed that the implementation of such policy could increase the hardship currently being experienced by the people of the country, adding that prices of consumables and other items were increasingly becoming out of reach of the people.
Bishop Wale Oke emphasized that ” if the proposed subsidy removal is effected, it would heighten the hardship of the people of the nation”, adding, ” everybody will feel it, particularly the less privileged.
” The negative effects will surely outweigh the positive. The cost of transportation for human and goods across the country, will skyrocket and other things connected which will have a spiral effect on general living standard of the populace; the suffering will be multi-dimensional. Please let all stakeholders be sensitive to this avoidable path and do the needful” he said.
Bishop Wale Oke added, ” by whatever means, let the Federal Government put its heart into ensuring that our refineries are back to life. In addition,in order to stem the rising cost of living, farmers and others connected to them should be encouraged. This is what can help our economy.
“An increase in the price of petroleum from its present N165 to N340 per litre, can trigger tension and crises in the country which in turn can paralyse our economy if not handled with utmost care.”
The PFN President lamented that the situation has become worrisome due to the reduction in the purchasing power of Nigerians caused by the continuous fall in the value of the nation’s currency at the exchange market and that the government should to do all it could to revive the four ailing refineries in the country, with a view to ensuring they operate at optimal level for a lasting benefit, for the country and its people.
Bishop Wale Oke emphasized that PFN would always support policies that would enhance good governance and advised that the government should to this effect put in place tangible palliative measures that could ameliorate the hardship being experienced.
“Without begging the issue,there should be well defined palliative measures in place that can cushion the effect of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, especially the commoners. One is not talking about political palliatives that never last. We have seen enough of such”.
On the proposed N5000 to about 40 million poor Nigerians, Bishop Wale Oke said, “again, the planned introduction of N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians, is to create a cesspool of corruption. How do you define ‘the poor? They, mostly,don’t use telephones. They, mostly, don’t have bank accounts. How will the money get to them?”
He then advised the government to be wary of policies that could jeopardize the conduct of the 2023 General Elections, insisting that all hands must be geared towards steering the wheel of the country to a safety berth.