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Tuesday, 23 April 2013 00:00
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NUAHP kicks against plan to remove petroleum subsidy

Comrade Felix FaniranIn order to avert the hardship from the hike in the price of petroleum products, the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) has urged the federal government to shelve its plan to remove the remaining petroleum subsidy.

This was contained in a communiqué NUAHP issued at the end of its National Executive Council Meeting, which was conveyed at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta from March 25 to 28, to strengthen the Union’s presence at the FMC, Abeokuta and to inaugurate the Federal Neuro- psychiatric Hospital Branch of the Union.

In the communiqué, which was jointly signed by the association’s National President, Comrade Felix Faniran and the groups Public Relations Officer, Comrade Valentine Chinedu, the union reiterated its commitment to resist plan to remove the remaining petroleum subsidy if the government forced the removal on the populace.

At a recent forum in Lagos, President Goodluck Jonathan stirred up the hornets’ nest when he pushed for a fresh increase in the price of fuel by way of removing the remaining percentage of government subsidy on petroleum products. “We cannot continue to waste resources meant for a greater number of Nigerians to subsidise the affluent middle class, who are the main beneficiaries,” Jonathan said.

Shortly after the President dropped this hint, Information Minister, Labaran Maku justified the president’s stance, saying the potential that the Oil and Gas Sector could have unleashed on the country is completely truncated because of the remaining subsidy that the government is paying.

Maku stated: “Without deregulation, there will be no deregulated downstream sector. Currently, the government is losing; the people are losing, because we cannot generate jobs. The potential that the Oil and Gas Sector could have unleashed on the country is completely truncated. But the effort is continuous, as the government will not relent in its effort to convince Nigerians so as to reverse the trend of Nigerians suffering as a result of the subsidy on fuel.”

The president’s bid to eliminate the subsidy on fuel on January 1, 2012, and institute a N141 per litre price regime was promptly followed by massive protest that spread across the states of the federation, culminating in the government backing down to N97 per litre from the old price of N65 per litre

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