ASUU: “There is no subsidy in Nigeria”

The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Professor Emmanuel Osodeke has said the country’s apex academic body does not believe there is a fuel subsidy in the country.

President Bola Tinubu had at his inauguration announced that “subsidy is gone,” sparking a hike in price and shortage of the product across the country.

While the government had before then repeatedly said it can no longer fund the payment of subsidy, the ASUU chief who spoke at the Alex Ekweme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo in Ebonyi State wondered how Nigeria can be exporting crude oil but cannot refine the same.

We don’t believe that there is fuel subsidy. You can’t be exporting crude oil for the past 70 years, and you still cannot refine the crude oil and sell to your people at the Nigerian rate, not at dollar. Then, something is wrong,” he said on Wednesday at the sidelines of a lecture captioned, ‘Advancing Technology through Quality Education, the ASUU Perspective’.

Osodeke also lamented the inability of the country to have a functioning refinery, decrying the humongous amounts spent on the existing ones.

“It is not rocket science to build a refinery. When the country deliberately refuses to maintain the ones they have but people [working there] are being paid,” the ASUU chief said.

“Nigeria has spent trillions of naira in the past three years or so on the renovation of refineries yet nothing is working. Meanwhile, smaller countries have functional refineries.”

Since the Federal Government confirmed the removal of the subsidy, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been in negotiation.

They earlier called for a reversal of the old pump price of the product but later shelved their planned strike after a series of meetings with the government.

ASUU, Osodeke, noted, will toe the line of organised labour.

By Temitope Hassan