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Group urges FG to license refineries

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By Abraham Adekunle

Tinubu urged to solve economic hardship by allowing local refinery production.

The Fix Nigeria Group has urged the administration of Bola Tinubu to solve the lingering economic hardships which were created due to removal of fuel subsidy. The concerned group made this call in a press statement released by its president, Tunde Eso, on August 24, 2023, bemoaning how the current situation in the country has affected the living standards of the citizens. Nigerians have experienced a variety of hardships since the implementation of the policy to remove subsidies on fuel.

Eso said at a meeting with the group’s state coordinators which was held on Sunday, August 20, 2023, that the recent economic policies made by the government have brought up devastating effects on the citizenry. He said that it has drastically reduced the standard of living of Nigerians resulting from the astronomical increase in the cost of petroleum products. Truly, the naira has lost a ton of value since the policy. The naira now pairs with the dollar at more than N900 at the exchange market. Meanwhile, the increase in the price of fuel has resulted in an increase in the price of goods and services across all sectors.

Coordinator urges Tinubu to run a youth-inclusive government.

In the same vein, Datti Sani, Kebbi State Coordinator for the group, urged President Tinubu to include the youth in governance in order to integrate them into the new ideology that will elicit industrialisation and massive employment for the youth which will alleviate insecurity in the country. Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999, the age factor in politics has always determined the people eligible for certain positions even if others were qualified in all areas.

For instance, the minimum age for a Nigerian president according to the constitution was 40 years before former President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the “Not Too Young To Rule” bill stipulating the new age as 35 years. So, young Nigerians have always felt that the law has prohibited them from running for political positions. With the signing of that bill, the underlying message was that young people are now starting to make a headway into politics and will head occupy many of the positions in the future. The Kogi State Coordinator of the group, Idegu Ojonugwa Shadrach, added, “I urge president Bola Tinubu to make youths the frontiers of his administration as there is no nation that succeeds without the involvement of youths.”

Eso said the government needs to issue refinery licenses.

Also, Datti further said that education being the bedrock of development in any society had become difficult for poor citizens to access. According to him, only the rich had the wherewithal to enjoy the opportunity. This has arguably never been truer given the recent increase of school fees by tertiary institutions as well as federal unity schools. Meanwhile, Tunde Eso – the originator of the youthocracy (a system of government) – said that there was a need to issue licenses to foreign and local investors to set up new refineries as well as restructure the energy sector which will create employment opportunities and alleviate poverty in the country.

Apart from the Dangote Group, no other firm has been given the license to refine crude oil in the country. According to the group, there needs to be an investment in refineries in order to solve the problem of fuel importation in the country. Oil marketers have recently announced that there may likely be an increase in the price of petrol due to the scarcity of forex and the increase in the exchange rates. If several other firms are given the opportunity to invest in refineries, the bottlenecks in the sector would gradually be solved.

FG urged to diversify economy and avoid past admin mistakes.

Nonetheless, the president also advised the government to diversify the economy with agriculture. He said that agriculture is the best sector that touches the rural people directly and that will have a positive impact on the lives of all Nigerians. Meanwhile, the Kogi State Coordinator also advised the president to avoid the mistakes of past administrations by running an exclusive government that will reduce corruption in all sectors of the economy. The group’s top executives called on the newly inaugurated ministers as well to work hard towards tackling insecurity and other challenges facing the nation.

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