BudgIT tackles President Buhari on high cost of governance
The tech-driven civil society group, BudgIT has called for cost-cutting measures by the government to boost its image among the citizens before embarking on any reform such as the deregulations of the downstream sector and the hike in tariff on electricity.
The group in a statement said considering the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the economy and the consistent rise in food price, the timing for the removal of subsidy on domestic fuel consumption is inauspicious.
“We have always called for subsidy removal because it has been used as a conduit for corruption. However, we are worried about President Mohammadu Buhari and his government’s approach to the removal and the timing,” the group said in a statement.
“While subsidy removal is inevitable, we expect the Nigerian government to earn Nigerians’ trust and public support first by taking proactive measures including cutting government waste to build citizens’ confidence in subsidy reforms.
“Currently, the optics by the government gives the impression that the country is not living on borrowed funds. Reforms cannot begin with the citizens, but with the government cutting costs in light of the pandemic.
“Citizens should not be bearing more burdens while the Executive and the National Assembly are not making adjustments to their lifestyles.
The group called for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to bring the much needed reforms to the downstream sector and restructure the government’s participation in the industry.
“Also, the government and President Buhari must work towards ensuring effective operation of the refineries to justify the heavy investment in all the refineries over the years.#GFD