President Jonathan’s Proclamation on Planned Hike in Fuel Price:
SPN Rejects Any Planned Fuel Price Hike
- Calls for Mass Action
The Socialist Party (SPN), Osun State chapter wish to register its total opposition to the reported but latest attempt by the Jonathan government to hike the pump price of petrol under the guise of saving what it termed "wasted money". The increase if allowed will mean that Nigerians will be paying as much as N156 for a liter of petrol based on the current price of crude oil. This policy if allowed will put more Nigerians, especially working and middle classes in excruciating poverty. Already, up to 70 percent of Nigerians have already been categorized as living below poverty line. This latest plan, in the face of collapsed infrastructures, will mean increased poverty, more job losses and increase in unemployment (already put at over 23 percent of the population).
According to Punch newspaper of Wednesday, 20 March, 2013, President Jonathan was quoted to have said: "We (the government) cannot continue to waste resources meant for a greater number of Nigerians to subsidize the affluent middle class, who are the main beneficiaries (of fuel subsidy)". This statement can best be described as unfortunate, as it shows that Jonathan government has not learnt anything from the mass movement of January 2012, where several millions of Nigerians collectively reject any attempt to make live more miserable for them through a so-called subsidy removal. Therefore, any excuse to make issue of reduction of fuel price as benefit to only the affluent few is at best ridiculous. According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 1st Quarter, 2012 report, the 49 percent hike in fuel price in 2012 led to rise in inflation to 12.5 percent. For working class people, this can only mean more economic pangs. But for the ruling class, it means more money to loot. For instance, the so-called money saved through the SURE-P has meant another fraud as nothing fundamental has been the gain of the masses from the money across all levels of governance. Meanwhile, several billions of naira has been reported misappropriated from the fund.
It is more ridiculous that the Jonathan government that superintends over gargantuan misappropriation of oil wealth will be telling Nigerians of the need to hike fuel price again. According newspaper reports, over N5 trillion have been reported misappropriated within two years of Jonathan presidency. Already all political officers, estimated to be just 17, 474, consume over N1 trillion as emoluments from the total annual national budgets of less than N10 trillion. This is aside several trillions of naira in looted funds across all top functionaries of the government at all levels and irrespective of the political parties.
We in the SPN call on Nigerians to again rise to reject any attempt by the anti-poor, pro-rich government of Jonathan to hike petrol price again. We call on the labour movement to begin the mobilization of mass of working and poor people against another round of fuel price hike. This is the time for the mass of working and oppressed people to demand nationalization of the oil sector under public democratic ownership. We must demand immediate prosecution of all those indicted in the fuel subsidy scam.
The labour movement must use the April 10 national rally against corruption to send the warning message of impending revolution to the Jonathan government. Ultimately, the working people need their own political alternative to the rot represented by all the ruling but ruining bourgeois parties in Nigeria, who are all united in their implementation of anti-poor, pro-rich policies.
Alfred Adegoke Esq. Kola Ibrahim
Protem State Chairman Protem State Secretary