WHAT NIGERIA’s PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN TOLD NIGERIANS IN HIS NATIONAL BROADCAST ON FUEL SUBSIDY

WHAT NIGERIA’s PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN TOLD NIGERIANS IN HIS NATIONAL BROADCAST ON FUEL SUBSIDY

 The Nigerian President,Mr.Goodluck Jonathan has been doing all within reach to convince Nigerians why the prices of fuel in his country skyrocked as a result of removal on fuel subsidy.Here we present you the full test of his broadcast to Nigerians.

Dear Compatriots,

1.    A week ago, I had cause to address Nigerians on the security
challenges we are facing in parts of the country, which necessitated the
declaration of a state of emergency in 15 Local Government Areas in
four states of the Federation. That course of action attracted
widespread support and a demonstration of understanding.
With that
declaration, government had again signaled its intention to combat
terrorism with renewed vigour and to assure every Nigerian of safety.

2.   The support that we have received in the fight against terrorism
from concerned Nigerians at home and abroad has been remarkable. We
believe that it is with such continued support that progress can be made
on national issues. Let me express my heartfelt appreciation to
everyone who has expressed a commitment to support us as we strive to
improve on the country’s security situation, and build a stronger
foundation for the future.  The recent mindless acts of violence in
Gombe, Potiskum, Jimeta-Yola and Mubi are unfortunate. I urge all
Nigerians to eschew bitterness and acrimony and live together in harmony
and peace. Wherever there is any threat to public peace, our security
agencies will enforce the law, without fear or favour.

3.   This evening, I address you, again, with much concern over an
issue that borders on the national economy, the oil industry and
national progress.  As part of our efforts to transform the economy and
guarantee prosperity for all Nigerians, Government, a few days ago,
announced further deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. The
immediate effect of this has been the removal of the subsidy on petrol.

4.   Since the announcement, there have been mixed reactions to the
policy. Let me seize this opportunity to assure all Nigerians that I
feel the pain that you all feel.  I personally feel pained to see the
sharp increase in transport fares and the prices of goods and services. I
share the anguish of all persons who had travelled out of their
stations, who had to pay more on the return leg of their journeys.

5.   If I were not here to lead the process of national renewal, if I
were in your shoes at this moment, I probably would have reacted in the
same manner as some of our compatriots, or hold the same critical views
about government.  But I need to use this opportunity as your President
to address Nigerians on the realities on the ground, and why we chose
to act as we did. I know that these are not easy times. But tough
choices have to be made to safeguard the economy and our collective
survival as a nation.
6.    My fellow Nigerians, the truth is that we are all faced with
two basic choices with regard to the management of the downstream
petroleum sector: either we deregulate and survive economically, or we
continue with a subsidy regime that will continue to undermine our
economy and potential for growth, and face serious consequences.
7.   As you all know, the subject of deregulation is not new, we have
been grappling with it for more than two decades. Previous
administrations tinkered with the pump price of petroleum products, and
were unable to effect complete deregulation of the downstream sector.
This approach has not worked.  If it did, we would not be here talking
about deregulation today. I understand fully well that deregulation is
not a magic formula that will address every economic challenge, but it
provides a good entry point for transforming the economy, and for
ensuring transparency and competitiveness in the oil industry, which is
the mainstay of our economy.
8.   As a President, elected and supported by ordinary Nigerians, and
the vast majority of our people, I have a duty to bring up policies and
programmes that will grow the economy and bring about greater benefits
for the people.  Let me assure you that as your President, I have no
intention to inflict pain on Nigerians.
9.    The deregulation of the petroleum sector is a necessary step
that we had to take. Should we continue to do things the same way, and
face more serious economic challenges? Or deregulate, endure the initial
discomfort and reap better benefits later? I want to assure every
Nigerian that whatever pain you may feel at the moment, will be
temporary.
10.               The interest of the ordinary people of this country
will always remain topmost in my priorities as a leader. I remain
passionately committed to achieving significant and enduring
improvements in our economy that will lead to sustained improvement in
the lives of our people.
11.               I am determined to leave behind a better Nigeria,
that we all can be proud of. To do so, I must make sure that we have the
resources and the means to grow our economy to be resilient, and to
sustain improved livelihood for our people. We must act in the public
interest, no matter how tough, for the pains of today cannot be compared
to the benefits of tomorrow.  On assumption of office as President, I
swore to an oath to always act in the best interest of the people. I
remain faithful to that undertaking.
12.                To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make
sacrifices.  On the part of Government, we are taking several measures
aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance, including on-going and
continuous effort to reduce the size of our recurrent expenditure and
increase capital spending. In this regard, I have directed that overseas
travels by all political office holders, including the President,
should be reduced to the barest minimum. The size of delegations on
foreign trips will also be drastically reduced; only trips that are
absolutely necessary will be approved.
13.               For the year 2012, the basic salaries of all
political office holders in the Executive arm of government will be
reduced by 25%. Government is also currently reviewing the number of
committees, commissions and parastatals with overlapping
responsibilities. The Report on this will be submitted shortly and the
recommendations will be promptly implemented. In the meantime, all
Ministries, Departments and Agencies must reduce their overhead
expenses.
14.               We are all greatly concerned about the issue of
corruption. The deregulation policy is the strongest measure to tackle
this challenge in the downstream sector. In addition, government is
taking other steps to further sanitize the oil industry.
15.               To ensure that the funds from petroleum subsidy
removal are spent prudently on projects that will build a greater
Nigeria, I have established a committee to oversee the implementation of
the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme. I sincerely believe
that the reinvestment of the petroleum subsidy funds, to ensure
improvement in national infrastructure, power supply, transportation,
irrigation and agriculture, education, healthcare, and other social
services, is in the best interest of our people.
16.               Fellow Nigerians, I know that the removal of the
petroleum subsidy imposes an initial burden on our people, especially
the rising cost of transportation.  Government will be vigilant and act
decisively to curb the excesses of those that want to exploit the
current situation for selfish gains.  I plead for the understanding of
all Nigerians.  I appeal to our youth not to allow mischief-makers to
exploit present circumstances to mislead or incite them to disturb
public peace.
17.                To address the immediate challenges that have been
identified, I have directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of
government to embark immediately on all projects which have been
designed to cushion the impact of the subsidy removal in the short,
medium and long-term, as outlined in the Subsidy Reinvestment and
Empowerment Programme Document.
18.                Tomorrow, 8th January, I will formally launch a
robust mass transit intervention programme to bring down the cost of
transportation across the country. The programme will be implemented in
partnership with state and local governments, labour unions, transport
owners, and banking institutions, and  supported with the provision of
funding at zero interest rate as well as import duty waiver on all
needed parts for locally-made mass transit vehicles, which will create
additional jobs in the economy.
19.               We will keep these incentives in place for as long
as it takes. I want to assure you that Government will not rest until we
bring down the cost of transportation for our people.  Let me thank the
transporters’ associations that have agreed to reduce transport fares. I
have directed the Minister of Labour and Productivity to work with
these associations to come up with a sustainable plan to guarantee this
within the shortest possible time.
20.                In addition, I have ordered the mobilization of
contractors for the full rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt –Maiduguri
Railway Line and the completion of the Lagos-Kano Railway Line. I have
also directed the immediate commencement of a Public Works programme
that will engage the services of about 10, 000 youths in every state of
the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. This will create an
additional 370, 000 jobs.
21.               Government has taken these decisions in the best
interest of our economy, so that we not only have benefits today, but to
ensure that we bequeath even greater benefits to our children and
grandchildren.
22.                Let me assure Nigerians that every possible effort
will be made to ensure that we march forward, with a collective resolve
to build a Nigeria that can generate greater economic growth, create
and sustain new jobs, and secure the future of our children.
23.                This Administration will aggressively implement
its programme to reposition and strengthen our economy, while paying
adequate attention to the immediate needs of our citizens.
24.                I assure you all that we will work towards
achieving full domestic refining of petroleum products with the
attendant benefits.
25.                As I ask for the full understanding of all Nigerians, I also promise that I will keep my word.
26.               Thank you. May God bless you; and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
President
Federal Republic of Nigeria
January 7, 2012

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