Thousands of Nigerians have continued to call on the nation’s Federal Government to rescind the decision to remove petroleum subsidies as the nation grapples with its worst-ever hardship and inflation since 1999.

President Bola Tinubu, who ascended to power in May 2023, amidst a controversial electoral process, had declared the government’s abolishment of the two-decade-old petroleum subsidy intervention on his first day in office, as part of proposed fiscal policies.

The result has proven devastating for Nigerians as millions report not receiving the supposed N25,000 ($17) per month infrastructure support fund (ISF) earmarked for the poorest 15 million Nigerians after five months of launch.

“Subsidy was better than this untraceable “cash transfer” Tinubu is doing, ” remarked an embittered Nigerian who lost two shops in a Lagos market fire, “everybody benefitted from subsidy because everybody makes use of either fuel, kerosene, diesel, or gas daily.”

The sentiment is the same across the North where untold hardship has forced impoverished people to resort to wild farm weeds and unclean water to survive.

Since removing subsidies, transportation costs have tripled in many parts of the country leading to a heart-wrenching increase in food prices. Ironically, Nigeria’s minimum wage, which remains at N33,000, has lost 70% of its value in less than four years with over 50% of such loss happening over the last six months alone.

With the new plan by the government to placate suffering with grain reserves while jacking up import duties and sending multinationals packing, many hold the view that Tinubu’s ascension to power was a brutally successful power-thirsty grab devoid of governance knowledge or economic plan.

As all else fails, the nation’s federal government must heed the plight of million of masses who live below $1 per day, and reinstate subsidy as a fairer, truer, and more equitable amelioration of incumbent hardship in the poverty capital of the world.

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