THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL IN NIGERIA
Keywords:fuel subsidy, fuel removal subsidy, corruption, economic reconstruction
The study examines the political economy of fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria and its implications on the economy in generate and the populace in particular. It addresses the arguments for and against fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria as a political discourse. This article relies on secondary data. This method enabled the researcher draw heavily on recorded data thus making for an in-depth analysis. It was found that rampant corruption in the nation’s sprawling oil sector is hugely responsible for the intractable economic development slow-motion that has worsened the plight of ordinary Nigerians. While the country’s refineries remain moribund, fuel subsidy has, instead created leeway for the criminally-minded elite to squander the commonwealth. Government has demonstrated little or no political will to stem the decay in the oil sector, as underlined by the reluctance to prosecute oil thieves, some of whom are directly or indirectly connected to the apparatus of the state. Unlike in Ghana where government engaged the people and introduced measures to cushion the harsh effects of fuel subsidy phase-out on the poor, in Nigeria, government has often increased the cost of petrol before ever addressing its impacts on vulnerable groups. The paper therefore recommends the revamping of the country’s refineries, the strengthening of the fight against corruption and the establishment of a regulatory framework to protect citizens as necessary measures to help improve the poor state Nigeria’s economy and society.