The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has called on all tiers of government in ensuring inclusive, impactful and sustainable palliative measures that will mitigate the effect of fuel subsidy removal,leadership report.
The CEO of CPPE, Dr. Muda Yusuf stated this in a press release to LEADERSHIP yesterday, while commending the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for opting for dialogue in resolving the impasse triggered by the fuel subsidy removal.
He noted that, “in truth, the pains inflicted on the citizens, especially, the vulnerable segments of the society, were very severe. A strike action would have further exacerbated an already difficult situation for the citizens. Opting for strike actions should only be a matter of last resort.”
Yusuf urged President Bola Tinubu to reciprocate the thoughtful stance of labour by speedily coming up with measures to mitigate the pains of the fuel subsidy removal, saying, “the sufferings are real and affecting the citizens across all segments of our society; public service, private sector, informal sector, artisans, students, SMEs, the unemployed, the aged and pensioners.
“There is therefore a need for urgent responsive actions from all tiers of government. The mitigating measures should be holistic and inclusive and should be driven by a combination of direct interventions, fiscal policy measures and monetary policy actions.”
CPPE CEO explained that, “the hardship mitigating measures could be classified into immediate, short term, medium and long term. Such responses would send the right signals to citizens and demonstrate government’s sensitivity to the devastating impact of the subsidy removal on the poor.
“In many instances, transportation costs have gone up by between 20 per cent to 50 per cent. For most citizens, transportation is critical to their survival. The hike in transport fares and the corresponding inflationary effect is already posing a threat to the livelihood of many, both within and outside the public sector.
“This is the context in which the government needs to urgently respond to the current crisis, focusing on the scope of impact, effective targeting, inclusion and the right messaging.”
CPPE recommended direct intervention measures, such as; NNPC selling petroleum products at a price which is 10 per cent less than that of other private sector marketers; acceleration of the Presidential Power Initiative to upscale power supply in the country; government must put an end to the pricing of gas in dollars for domestic use, especially, for manufacturers; and that government should take urgent steps to reduce the cost of LPG to households.
Yusuf added that the government should focus on fiscal policy measures by waiving import duty, VAT and other port charges on Semi Knocked Down parts for the assembly of mass transit buses; import duty on passenger buses of 15 passenger capacity and above should be reduced by 50 per cent for the next one year; import duty on fairly used cars of engine capacity of 2000cc and below should be reduced by 30 per cent; among others
He urged government to look at competition framework in the Petroleum Products Supply Chain, private sector interventions, foreign exchange policy reform, monetary policy measures and cutting cost of governance.