Subsidy removal: Nigeria on brink of collapse — Catholic Bishops

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, yesterday raised the alarm that the removal of fuel subsidy without cushioning the effects has put the country on the brink of collapse.

The bishops’ alarm came as Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, pleaded with the Federal Government to urgently address the pains of the people arising from the removal of subsidy on petrol.

However, efforts made to get the reaction of the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake, did not yield any results, as he neither responded to a text message sent to his phone nor picked up his calls.

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But the President of CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, raised the alarm in a homily delivered at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, during the reception of the Supreme Subordinate President of the Knights of St. John International, Prof. Remy Uche, in Owerri, weekend, said Nigeria might be heading for the precipice if nothing urgent is done to effectively check the current economic crisis facing the nation and its citizens

He said: “The suffering in the land has over the years been galloping uncontrollably. Our growing economic crisis became exacerbated with the recent withdrawal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government. Indeed, Nigeria is on the brink of collapse.

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“Government has not ceased to inundate citizens with it’s fabled palliative measures to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal. I am sure those running the nation’s affairs at all levels know that palliative measures can never be a cure for any economic or health challenge.

“If Nigerians are given food items as palliatives, we will definitely go hungry again, after consuming the food. So, I ask: Why waste resources on palliative measures, instead of attacking the problems frontally?

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“Provision of a constant source of energy remains the driving force in all developing and developed economies. Why is ours different? Why should we not subsidize fuel?

“We have severally been told that some people have been enriching themselves from our commonwealth through petrol subsidy. For many patriotic citizens, this argument does not hold water. (Vanguard)

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