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We will shut down Nigeria if fuel subsidy is removed, says NANS

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Amid mixed reactions trailing the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has kicked against the decision.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, NANS President, Sunday Asefon threatened that the student body will shut down the country should the Federal Government proceed to remove subsidy from petrol.

Asefon said, “NANS is rudely shocked by the statement credited to the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari to the effect that Premium Motor Spirit could sell as much as three hundred and forty N340 by February 2022. This is said to be due to the plan of the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy and usher in an era of so-called deregulation.

“Even more absurd is the proposal announced by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed that N5,000 will be paid to 40 million vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.

“NANS is still trying hard to make an iota of good sense out of this strange proposal. We shall return to this particular point.

“But let us first of all categorically state that on behalf of the suffering millions of Nigerian students and on behalf of the millions of the frustrated masses of the Nigerian people who are our parents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, friends and neighbours, we reject this socio-economic evil proposal and we shall resist it.

“Nigerians are really suffering. We are in dire socio-economic straits. We are weeping in our hearts and souls. We are dying in silence. We feel the agony and anguish because we are practically involved. Therefore, any attempt to aggravate the social woes and economic manacles that we already face and wear will not only be unconscionable but reckless. It will amount to testing the patience of Nigerians too far. And we wish to warn against it.”

“We shall ensure that the entire country is shut down and paralysed should the Federal Government proceed with its insensitive plan of deregulation, or even any further increase in the pump price of fuel. We have had enough,” the NANS President threatened.

The organisation further called on Nigerians and all its allied structures to be on the alert for further directives on the next action.

Asefon said, “As far as we are concerned, this sinister plan is the quest of government to get money at all costs to squander and finance the ostentatious lifestyles of public officers and senior civil servants. And for these selfish reasons, Nigerians much suffer to breaking limits for it. Again, we reiterate that it is a total no, never.

“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to rescind the plan till adequate arrangements like refining at home and utilising our petrochemical by-products are made. Then after that, there will be a robust discussion by all stakeholders to deal with associated socio-economic issues and discuss the details of the new regime. It is only on this condition that there can be a corresponding social equilibrium, economic prosperity, job and wealth creation for Nigerians.

“And while we hope that Federal Government will heed this patriotic advice, we call on all our comrades, allies and all structures of NANS to be on the alert. Nobody should be swayed or distracted. Because freedom comes by struggle, we shall struggle to free ourselves from further socio-economic chains.”

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