The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has faulted the procedure that led to the removal of petrol subsidy in Nigeria, saying that the federal government should have instituted palliative measures to alleviating the harshness of the subsidy removal before making the announcement.
Monday Ubani, the chairman of NBA-SPIDEL stated this in a news conference yesterday in Ikeja to herald the forthcoming annual conference of SPIDEL with the theme “Post-Election Nigeria: The Judiciary in the eye of the storm.”
The conference is scheduled to hold in Oregun, Ikeja from June 20 to 23.
President Bola Tinubu, 71, during his inauguration speech on May 29 announced the total removal of petrol subsidy, saying the scheme has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.
Ubani said the removal of petrol subsidy has bring more hardship to Nigerians who were already hit by the current economy hardship, noting that increase in salary of government workers was not the solution, because few Nigerians were under the payroll of government at all levels.
He said the federal government must urgently institute economic packages to cushion the harsh effects of the new policy on Nigerians.
According to Ubani, “ The process and procedure for the removal was faulty. This has occasioned severe consequences and taken a toll on the hapless citizens who are always the victims of such government policies that are not well thought out.
“ We welcome efforts by the government amid consultations to birth palliatives aimed at alleviating the harshness of the sudden removal. This should have preceded the announcement of the removal of subsidy. Sadly, that was not the case.
“President must be told in clear terms that Nigerians are groaning in pains, especially with the sudden removal of the fuel subsidy.
“Salary increase for civil servants whose population is infinitesimal compared to millions that are outside government employment will not be enough to solve the present crisis.
“More drastic and well-thought out economic packages should be put in place to cushion the harsh effects of the new policy”,
Commenting on the air Nigeria scam, Ubani stated that President Tinubu must urgently set-up a high-powered panel of investigation to unearth the large-scale scam, adding that Tinubu’s handling of the issue would tell his administration readiness to fight corruption.
We enjoin President Tinubu to institute a high-powered panel of investigation to unearth this large-scale scam that has turned Nigeria into a laughing stock in the global aviation community.
“This matter is a litmus test for the new administration, especially if President Bola Tinubu wants to be seen as desirous of combating corruption in the polity, “Ubani stated.
Speaking on the conference, the NBA-SPIDEL chairman asserted that the conference will attract lawyers and judges from various states of the Federation.
He added that the keynote speaker is foremost human rights activist, Femi Falana SAN, while the opening session will be chaired by former NBA President, Olisa Agbakoba OON, while
Justice Amina Augie of the Supreme Court will feature as the guest speaker during the opening ceremony.