Square Pegs and Round Holes


November 5, 2015

Fuel Subsidies – Palliatives and the Seven Questions

Palliative: Treatment or medicine which relieves pain or alleviates a problem without dealing with the underlying cause.
Often used this: “short-term, palliative measures had been taken”

Synonyms: soothing, alleviating, sedative, calmative…
We have been told that the government is working on some palliatives before embarking on the removal of fuel subsidies.

Per the definition above, my questions are:
1. Which palliatives are we talking about and how exactly will they soothe the problem?
2. How long will they be in place and take effect before subsidies are removed? By the way, OPEC predicts that crude oil prices will rebound soon…meaning an increase in subsidy is imminent.
3. Which country in the world, with a mono product economy and with our oil production (barrel) per person ratio, currently subsidizes fuel prices?
4. What is the percentage of our revenue being used to subsidize fuel prices? In 2013, it was close to 20%.
5. What are our alternative revenue sources, to make up for the subsidies and when will they mature?
6. How do we pay for the programs intended to put infrastructure in place, diversify the economy and give struggling Nigerians the welfare package or jobs promised by this administration?
7. Why are we still keeping all the refineries and maintaining a full complement of overhead when that sector continues to be unreliable and not showing impending signs of turning a profit or adding value that brings down the cost of petroleum products?


Leadership, Will and Resolve – Raji Fashola

Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, (right) asking an army  Colonel why he drove on the BRT lane illegally – July 17, 2012
In disorderly societies, one of a leader’s most effective qualities is (demonstrated) strong resolve.
The people must have no doubt that cases of non-compliance, willful sabotage, deviant and disruptive behavior will be pursued to the full extent of the law.
The people of Lagos will never forget the strong message sent by Governor Fashola’s personal involvement, in stopping a senior army officer caught violating Lagos traffic laws by driving on a designated BRT lane in July of 2012.
The soldier was later fined N25,000 and made to apologize by the top military command led by the chief of army staff, General Minimah.
Hear the governor, speak about this incident:
“It is very unfortunate that those who ought to stand in defence of the democratic values of the nation are the ones violating the law. But it signifies my commitment and the commitment of the Lagos State Government that all those who will not comply with our laws should leave our state. We will not back down. There is a zero tolerance for lawlessness. There is zero tolerance for breach of our regulations and we are going to do more of this. We are going to take control of our traffic. We cannot build our way out of traffic congestion; our responsibility is to manage traffic and manage congestion”.

Image: Vanguard News

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