News Update

Fuel Subsidy Removal: Anambra Industrialist Urges FG to Fix Refineries First

By Michael Nnebife

An industrialist and Chief Executive Officer, Wisdom Pack Anambra Rice Processing Company Limited, Edwin Ejike Erebe, has appealed to the Federal Government to put the nation’s refineries in order before embarking on full implementation of fuel subsidy removal to avoid total collapse of industries in the country.

The Anambra based industrialist, who made the appeal while having a chat with the press in Awka last Wednesday, suggested that the fuel subsidy removal policy should be targeted at fixing the refineries to make the overbearing effect of the policy on the people and industries momentary.

He lamented what he termed the overbearing effect of the policy on industrial operations, noting that some services given to customers free of charge had been dropped.

‘Removal of fuel subsidy affects us even before now; we were trying hard to contend with the situation before the pronouncement that subsidy was gone catapulted the whole effect.

‘Presently, production has been delaying – we can’t even use gas to operate because of its skyrocketed price.

‘Any moment NEPA takes light, we stop operating till the light comes back. Apart from this, to convey raw materials from farms to the factory is a problem to us now.

‘Before this subsidy removal, we engaged in delivering goods to the doorsteps of our customers within Awka; even if it was one bag, free of charge. But skyrocketed fuel pump price has stopped this unless a customer can pay.

‘So, the whole situation is no longer palatable. Therefore, I appeal to the Federal Government to do the needful first by putting our refineries in order, using the subsidy fund given to the oil marketers.

‘Then if the subsidy is fully removed, it will be clear that after six months; one year period, for instance, fuel pump price will come down to a reasonable level in Nigeria as an oil producing country, and the whole suffering reduced,’ Erebe noted.

He added that if the policy would not be taken in this direction, it would mean that the government had no prospect and regard to the people, whose well-being the government was primarily made to provide and safeguard.