By Day Emmanuel
When former president Muhammadu Buhari and his government prepared the 2023 budget in 2022, there was a provision to end subsidies on petrol. Many Nigerians were too carried away by the electioneering campaigns prevailing at the period and the subsequent crisis of new Naira notes and fuel shortage that marred the first quarter of the year.
Several upheavals culminated in the 2023 general election which produced a president-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who on his inauguration day announced the obvious, “Subsidy is gone!”
The announcement however would reshape the destiny of the Nigerian economy forever. This is what previous governments have failed to achieve in the past which the Buhari government did but wasn’t bold enough to face or announce while it lasted for eight years.
Fuel subsidy is one demon subsequent Nigerian governments have continued to romance and service over the years with no political will to cast out from system. This is a demon that gulps between N8 and N10tr annually while the country’s petroleum refineries remain moribund.
In a situation of who would bell the cat, who would ever have believed that the same Tinubu whose base in Lagos was the platform for resistance of the fuel subsidy removal plan of former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, would be the president to announce ‘Subsidy is gone’?
Now what is expected is palliative to cushion the effect of the removal of the petrol subsidy. Nigerians must also expect a re-channeling of about N400bn to be saved monthly into various other sectors which would relieve the economy with time.
Immediately after the announcement to end the fuel subsidy regime, the market went wild, and fuel lines emerged in various filling stations across the country. Petrol began selling up to N500 per liter or more from the earlier N190/N200. The ripple effect would immediately be the high cost of transportation up to 50 percent, 100 percent in some places, and prices of goods and services began to scale up. The most grievous is the prices of food items racing beyond the common man which may soon be an emergency if the government does nothing about it.
Now as Christians, where do we stand? When the scripture says ‘When there is a casting down, you will say there is a lifting up’, many readers would read it in a comfort zone but now is the time for the fulfillment of such a scripture.
It is not time to join those who won’t believe in what God is up to and say there is a casting down. Notwithstanding who is president or head of government, the Lord God rules in the affairs of men and He has a plan for His people.
Nigerians should believe the best of the current situation and it will be the beginning of a new era for the country.
Christians should continue to pray for the government according to Biblical injunction which does not add any condition. Whoever is in power is touchable by God. Praying for the government and believing in such prayers is what Nigerians need to do at the moment. No condition of who the leader is attached to the injunction to pray for leadership.
The government needs all the courage and the political will it can have to steer the ship of state in the right direction using the right speed.
In the coming months,
Nigeria will begin to see the dividends of prayers by the grace of God because it is time to move forward after years of moving in circles. It is a new dawn!