Fuel Subsidy Removal in Nigeria: Socio-Religious and Value Implications Drawn From the Theistic Humanism of Professor Dukor
Uploaded by: Dr. Chichi Nwaoga
Nigeria is a country blessed with abundant human and material resources. Pre-independent Nigeria had agriculture as the major foreign exchange and revenue earner. Other alternative revenue earners such as agricultural and mineral resources were explored and their proceeds used to support and foot the bill of government expenditures. Immediately the first oil field was discovered in 1956 at Olobiri in the Niger Delta, other alternative sources of revenue for Nigeria were abandoned and crude oil became the determinant of Nigeria’s mono-economic status and the sole basis of all socio-economic transaction within and outside the country. The issue of appropriate pricing of petroleum products and the removal of government’s subsidy on petroleum price became a thorny controversial public policy issue. Successive governments, including the current President, have grappled with this problem of whether to remove the subsidy or not, without coming to a publicly endorsed solution to the debate. The last fuel subsidy removal on 1st January, 2012 sparked an uprising that almost led to a revolution. The thrust of the study is to examine the causes of the fuel subsidy removal, to identify the benefits of fuel subsidy removal, to describe the effects of the subsidy removal, and the socio-religious implications of the removal of fuel subsidy to the citizens of Nigeria. It is in the context of these socio-religious that one discovers the relevance of Professor Dukor theistic humanism and its implied need for African values to be applied to governance in the 21st century. The debate surrounding the subsidy removal and the subsidy scam running into trillions of Naira of stolen funds by independent marketers of petroleum products revolve around corruption and a bad commentary about how ethical African vales have been removed from public governance and the management of public resources. After pointing out these socio-religious implications for the Nigerian ethical and value re-orientation, the paper went ahead to recommend some ways of managing the subsidy money for the development of the country.