Nigeria’s Finance Minister almost weeps, begs citizens to accept petroleum subsidy removal

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria’s Co-ordinating Minister for Economy and Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala almost wept yesterday December 22, 2011 as she practically begged Nigerians to accept the government’s proposed removal of petroleum subsidy, reports the Daily Trust.

Officials in Nigeria say the government would have spent N1.4 trillion on subsidy by the end of 2011 – 30% of total expenditure yearly.

“Please give us a chance to make the difference this time. We pledge not to disappoint you again,” Okonjo-Iweala begged when addressing members of the public at the town meeting organized by Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) in Lagos, according to the publication.

“What we are asking you Nigerians to do is to give us a chance. We know there is lack of confidence in government. We need to rebuild the trust. Even those of us in government are tired of complaining. We can’t succeed without you. Give us chance to perform and see if we can make that change”, the Daily Trust quotes Okonjo-Iweala as saying.

By Ekow Quandzie

  1. Enter your name...chinwendu says

    let’s give them a trial in 2012 and if they fail, they will see another segment of politics in the subsequent years’

  2. Bamiteko oladele says

    Theres no need for madam finance to beg Nigerians but let them the govt repair all the existing refinery so we can stop importation of petroleum product then the trust will come naturally

  3. Does the present finance minister of the federal republic of nigeria buy fuel?people have lost confidence in our leaders virtually in all sectors.i have no iota of doubt that the removal of subsidy is only to favour the ruling class.

  4. Anonymous says

    If the removal of subsidy will bring empowerment and also cause people to smile at last then we have no reason to complaint. Pls lets support this government.

  5. Enter your name... says

    We need a clearification on what the removed subsidy is to be use for? This is what the poor masses need to knwo, the benefit of it is what we want to know

  6. udoka says

    acepted ma, but d minimum wage will be 50000 naira 4 civil servant because they will worst hit. Other people can cope thru inflation esp, those in transport wil sky rocket d price 4 dem to cancel out d effect. But in case of civil servant their salary wil remain static while spending d exobitant price.

  7. Rechard says

    What difference does the removal of oil subsidy has on the poor Nigerians? Cos it does nt affect the rich.{inflation only affects the poor in our society}

  8. U guys ar d bomb

  9. Enter your name... says

    That’s the worst thing that can happen †̥̥o̶̲̥̅̊ we the masses…cus what use ȋ̝̊̅ڪ the subsidy when it’s d common man, the masses that would feel the pinch, the minister can beg ąЙd̶̲̥̅̊ cry blood for all I care Βuђ they won’t feel the pain, we will, do they even knw ‎​Ђŏw̶̲̥̅ much fare ȋ̝̊̅ڪ anymore? When was the last time did any of them entered the market †̥̥o̶̲̥̅̊ buy stuffs, Βuђ I tell you people we will surely suffer it if the subsidy on oil pull through.
    Michael A Ogar, Kaduna State.

  10. Anonymous says

    nigerians lets give the government a chance, we have seen worse, 4 nigeria to progress there must be sacrifices. Nigeria would be a great nation very soon.

  11. Andrew says

    U corrupt maggots in d last 6months wat have you done to librate the naira from this mordern day colonial economic control or how is it that common Ghana is having a point ahead of the niara, please madam finance just go home and honor your Husband cos if this thing back fires u will look for an uinsuiccessful hidding ground to no avail, I know say the billiopns wey dem put for your account they goinger you now, but believe me, its just a m¥atter of time.

  12. Yinka ogunseye says

    Remove the subsidy but let some people in NNPC be prosecuted for sabotaging our refineries and conniving with big guns in ‘eating’ our money

  13. Comr Joseph Felix says

    Im a major anti-subsidies agent,but i want us 2 reasons critically on the subsidies removal,GEJ is not 2 be trusted,but what of Ngozi?……

  14. Enter your name... says

    Dr Ngozi is very funny, u are crying and begging Nigerians to commit suicide.

  15. Enter your name... says

    Im a major anti-subsidy man,but i advice dat we reasons critically,GEJ cant be trusted but what of Ngozi?

  16. anonymous says

    The fact is that most of us Nigerians know that what the government is saying about fuel subsidy is right but it’s really hard to trust the government after all these past years of failure. If we can try and do the right thing now by supporting the subsidy removal and persevere through the brief hard time am sure will come, things will turn out well for us all. I believe this current government will not let us down.

  17. Anonymous says

    I no and i belive in God and Goodluck dat nigeria will be beter one day may be dis is d time according to d saying of d wise men.if u close yr eyes and let all d bad tree to pass u will not no when d good ones will also pass lets give dem a trail complement of d season

  18. Hw can we trust dis govt. Wen all dey knw is 2 lie n steal our money bt 2 pay workers #18k is a problem God de.

  19. Enter your name...Ini-iso Udo says

    My fellow nigeria we do not need to used past experience to follow Mr president an are finance minister let give them chance and see if they will fial us we are one please nigeria let suport he if is for bad he will filled it too thanks

  20. Haremur thimmy says

    Ma,minister of finance federal republic of nigeria about the fuel subsidy.the people in the states suffered 4 fuel & kerosine bcos the per liter is high 2 buy plz govt find smting 2 it. Nxt year God wil help our govt 2 lead us 2 our promise land

  21. Chigozie Okongwu says

    removal of the fuel subsidy is the best idea any good govt shld think of doing,but it wil be wise 2 address poverty & the inflation that wil result from it 1st bc it wil favour only the rich 4 time being and people wil die of hunger and poverty.

  22. Enter your name...remilekun says

    well we understand their plight my worrie is that are they going to increase workers salary because uptil now the increment of minimum wages have not been paid, so i can’t immagine if fuel subsidy is been remove nd petrolium price jump to #140 what wil be the fate of poor man that earned #5,500 nd #7,500 monthly with wife nd 4 children…

  23. Asulu says

    Dear Leaders, We know nothing is free but the only source of power for Nigerians is the subsidised fuel we put in our generator AND that’s the only thing we us to power our ‘Okada’ on our (death traps) sorry, rough roads. Look for the people who are benefitting from subsidy and sentence them to 150 yrs in prison. Nigerians are dying. N65 p/litre is even too much for us. let’s vote.

  24. Anonymous says

    My fellow nigeria we do not need to used past experience to follow Mr president an are finance minister let give them chance and see if they will fial us we are one please nigeria let suport he if is for bad he will filled it too thanks

  25. Enter your name... says

    pls ma.removal of fuel subside wil kil alot of pple .pls dnt evn thnk of doing it

  26. Ayyuba ishaqEnter your name... says

    Does d current minister of finance & her supporters present us only 1 masses beneficiency 4 the puel subsidy removal.

  27. alex says

    madam finance minister u can cry blood if u like we nigerian wuld accept d removal of fuel sus and if u try it nigeria ll be hoter than those arab spring

  28. Enter your name...victor etor says

    Subsidy. Subsidy. Dis country is a funny one. If u sit our leaders down n ask dem 2 xplain wat Subsidy means, u wil jst laugh. Wat av discovered about dis country is dt wateva u know u can do 2 b on d gud/favoured side, do it. Forget abt d rest. D laws rarely favour d poor. So do all u can 2 be rich anyway! God help Nigeria

  29. Francis Ushie says

    Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is not the only economist we have in Nigeria, I’m an economist too, but would never have any chance to air my statement.
    The truth remains that the minister does not know much about Nigeria, hence her long stay at the world bank, otherwise she should be telling the president to repair the existing REFINERIES and build new ones…put these things in place and the subsidy would naturally cease to exist….very simple economic theory….but that they are starting from outright subsidy removal suggests very ominous signs that a new cabal is about to crush the old oil subsidy cabal, to make money for themselves…Nonetheless, the current oil subsidy is not impacting positively on Nigerians either.
    SOLUTION: we want our petroleum products refined here, in Nigeria, competitively, and the competition would naturally bring down the pump price, where the product is distributed in abundance and competition is healthy, says ECONOMICS!

  30. Anonymous says

    Madam i undestand you want to tackle the issue of unemployment but this is just the issue of robbing peter to pay paul.the masses donnot have to pay for govt inefficiency,there are so many ways of tackling the problem of unemployment like probing the govt officials eg senators,ministers etc starting from you

  31. Anonymous says

    I do not c madam finance minister as a politician but I think she is beginning to sound as one. Madam finance pls tell mr president to stop using the masses as a bail out for their mistake. Ask mr president that how can Nigeria still be producing 2.5 million bpd when will have more FPSO floating production storage and offloading tankers up to twenty each producing 250,000 to 300,000 bpd and yet FG is given the masses falsified figure of 2.5 million bpd as benchmark for 2012 budget. The undisclosed figure should be use to continue in the business of subsidy. I also think that FG is among the people who believe that building a refinery in this country is a waste of time if not he will not come up with the idea of building one in Indonesian with whopping sum of $20billion. Why is mr president buying into every ideas without considering how this is going to affect the people? Just of recent FRSC came up with the idea of new plate number mr president buy into it when ordinarily they can just update the existing ones like CBN did but instead they bring in new one which is not in anyway different from the one of 1992 just to raise money for the govt by all means at the detriment of the masses. This is bad.

  32. Paddy says

    with the economic team l think their is good intention in the fuel subsidy removal let try and see the result.

  33. Anonymous says

    thought u ve plan 4 de nation, Removing de subcidy wil mean harm 2 de masses.

  34. Abubakar says

    Mr president, u want us 2 trust u dat d fuel subsidy money will b used 2 develop d country wen u signed d minimum wage bill of 18k but till now it has not been implemented. How do we trust ur words. Only 2 come out nd say u dont know dat d minimum wage has not been implemented. Do u have d masses at heart? Dont make me regret castin my vote 4 us pls.

  35. Enter your name...Lawal Dangi says

    As far as i am concern, no one will convince me that removal of fuel subsidy is good for Nigerians, No one at all, As if we are not oil producing state, go to Saudi and and other oil producing nations and see wonders, what a pity for Nigerians? Let them do it, but swear even your childrens will not forgive you let alone WE Nigerian citizens, God will punish you ALL

  36. Anonymous says

    Madam,this is rubbish.It took Labour rigour to ensure FG approved the minimum wages,now FG want to stylishly retrive the implementd wages by removn fuel subsidy.Its unfair.Its better not to evn have d refinery, than have and still suffering.

  37. Joshua says

    I bought the idea of diverting this subsidy but hw masses are going to benefite it like d way we do on oil, cos evrybody afected if oil scarse or suplus. The point is dat our goverment do swallow thire worlds and no trust in them anymore

  38. Enter your name... says

    mrs finance minister,am disappointd at u as an economist.wat happnd 2 our refineries if i may ask?why can’t d d local refinerier 4 its operation 2 avoid dis importation of fuel.i lack words 2 i must tell u dt were nt going bk on our removal…

  39. Anonymous says

    Madam. Are ‎​Ʊ trying τ̅☺ let us kwn that without d̶̲̥̅̊ removal of fuel subsidy ‎​Ʊ guys can not deliver τ̅☺ nija pple; abi nija no get money again¿ then fight 4 crimes looters of Nigerians funds or resources. Also cut some allowances of each politically members of d̶̲̥̅̊ appointed & elected position first` i think it Ȋ̝̊̅§ political strategy…pple are crying & smiling….God hear d̶̲̥̅̊ prayer of d̶̲̥̅̊ poor world are transforming……remove it with U̶̲̥̅̊r executive power we ll adapt trust nija pple oh.l

  40. Enter your name...YUSUFF TAIWO says

    There is no reality in our leaders’ utterances at all.They think that they can be deceiving millions of NIGERIANS.NO …. This is not the period of fuel subsidies but security.

  41. Ande vincent. says

    Madam minister, tel mr president 2 start wit putin our infrastruture in shape, giv nigerians constant power suply 2 boost their business activities, revive our refineries n make them functional wit gud magnt. Den we cn listen 2 fuel subsidy removal, cuz dos re d main issues bodarin our economy. No developin economy cn grow witout gud power suply……….we nid constant power suply 2 reduce ova dependence on fuel consumption. Fuel subsidy is nt bad bt its nt gud 4 d nigerian economy cuz d nation has nt attaind d level of aplyin dat policy. Dia is stil much 2 b done b4 fuel subsidy removal.

  42. Enter your name...YUSUFF TAIWO says

    There is no reality in our leaders’ utterances at all.They think that they can be deceiving millions of NIGERIANS.NO…. This is not the period of fuel subsidies but security.

  43. Anonymous says

    still wonder why gej continues to avoid the idea of repairing our rifineries. am not an economist but common sense tells that competition naturally reduces price. pls let him come up with a simple diagram of how the removal of subsidy can improve the living standard of ordinary nigerians, then we will support him.

  44. Pius says

    How sincere is this govt? For Ngozi yes we have confidence and trust but for our big bros GEJ, he looks too soft for my liking. To be able to rule this country successfully , he needs to be tough most times. The issue of corruption should be tackled headlog. Corrupt public officers should be promptly arrested, prosecuted and sent to life jail without any options of fine, having recovered the stolen money form them. This will send a strong signal to others who have the mind set of corrupt enrichment to have a rethink. We cannot afford to continue to toil with the future of generations unborn. Every Nigerian child born today is a multi millionaire, if we have good leaders who run the economy of this nation the way it should be run. Since independence in 1960, Nigeria has had rulers and not leaders. If you chose to call them leaders then they were bad and insincere ones. We need sincere leaders who have the interest of the nation and masses @ heart, just like we have in Ghana. In the early 1980s, there were influx of Ghanians in Nigeria becuase their economy was bad. Their currency, the Cedi wasabout 80 Cedi to the Nigerian Naira, but today what is the situation like? The reverse is the case for Nigeria. The economy of Ghana had since bounced back. Good leadership. What is wrong with us in Nigeria? Bad leadership ladden with corruption and self centredness. This is why we are in a mess today. We need a leader who hates corruption with passion and prepared to fight the monster with the last drop of his blood also has the interest of the nation and masss @ heart. GEJ do you fit into this shoes? Do you have the “lever” to fight corruption?Are you sincere in revamping this ailing economy. How honest and rugged are you? Time will tell.

  45. victor etor says

    U look @ a country lik nigeria n d sufferin of d masses n u tink of endin it. D first tin dt coms 2 ur mind is to remove fuel subsidy. R u sure madam finance ws raised in dis country? Am nt sure. Dey knw d right tin 2 do – repair d refineries. Dey dnt want to do it. Its so bemoaning.

  46. OBIORA says

    madam minista,pls stop cryn.i don’t wats is wrong wit d pple at d corridor of power in Nig.they are always d same,all they knw is there oil money no do them again, na to still frm poor masses pocket. shame on you,even mr presdent,sir u ave faild us.we didn’t knw u are1 of dem.but d Almighty GOD dat i srve will not allow u and ur team wit ur grammer called subsidy.

  47. Evans says

    Okonjo-Iweala weep?!…yes; to get your sympathy! Which of their past promises or agreements with NLC, ASSU etc have they honoured? If they want to regain the confidence of the citizens, they should start by upholding those agreements, making the 4 refinaries working at full capacity,and subsidize them instead of fuel importers. Make adequate budgetary allocations to those areas of economy and social welfare, that will impact positively on the lives of the citizens as against boguos provision for security. The truth is that this govt. seem to lack the capacity or will to address the endemic corruption in its system. They will continue decieve themselves till nemessis catch up with them.

  48. Davis, UK says

    They need to sort out the transportation infrastructure. Then remove the fuel subsidy. This will guaranteed that masses can continue as normal by using the public transport without much impact. Without doing so the rich will benefit greatly by hiking prices of their goods and services which will be suicide for the masses that rely on these services.
    The current government can go and borrow money to put the infrastructure in place I.e. Invest in light rail in major cities and buses. This investment loan can be recouped from the money they will get back from eradicating fuel subsidy. For now they are looking for ways to cut corner without thinking of the impact it will cost the masses I.e people on less than average income.

  49. Jide says

    Haba madam minister have u forgotten so easily how obasanjo made
    all sort of promises when he was slamming the masses with increase in fuel prices in the name of deregulation. which of the promises did he fulfill NONE of course, remember you were part of that administration. Did you come back to come back and add to the masses suffering? Haba Ngozi

  50. Anonymous says

    can u trust a arm rubber?ms ngozi u r a good actress,u r as good as tonto dike,ini edo,rita dominic pls join nollywood i wil buy ur films,we nigerian r sufferin while u r enjoyin

  51. Enter your name... says

    we are also a major exporter of natural gas,our refineries not working alone is a proof of how unsinsire the rulling classes are.

  52. La Pluma Macino says

    Laugh. . Is a shame,if FG thinks they ll just wake up from a nightmare to say no more subsidy.Let them better tell us they want to rebrand the “cabas” who has been feeding fat to a new one’s.Well,wise man value his words.So i wouldn’t waste it on FG.But just know the era of thou sayeth the lord is over

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