The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has warned Federal Government against the removal of fuel subsidy, saying it will worsen the suffering of majority of Nigerians who are already impoverished.
The PFN President, Bishop Wale Oke, stated this in a statement on Sunday, urging tlthe Federal Government to shelve the proposed policy.
He explained that the implementation of the policy would lead to hike in fuel price, adding that this would have a ripple effect on prices of goods and services in the country.
Oke warned that the implementation of such policy would increase the hardship currently being experienced by Nightmares, noting that prices of foodstuffs and other daily needs were increasingly going out of reach of the people.
The cleric further said the situation in the country was very bad due to the steady decline in the purchasing power of Nigerians as a result of the continuous fall in the value of the nation’s currency.
“Everybody will feel it, particularly the less privileged. The negative effects will surely outweigh the positive.
“The cost of transportation for human and goods across the country will skyrocket and other things connected which will have a spiral effect on general living standard of the populace; the suffering will be multi-dimensional. Please let all stakeholders be sensitive to this avoidable path and do the needful.
“By whatever means, let the Federal Government put its heart into ensuring that our refineries are back to life. In addition, in order to stem the rising cost of living, farmers and others connected to them should be encouraged. This is what can help our economy,” he said.
Ole said the PFN would always support policies that would enhance good governance, but charged the government to put in place tangible palliative measures that could ameliorate the hardship being experienced by Nigerians.
“Without begging the issue, there should be well defined palliative measures in place that can cushion the effect of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, especially the commoners. One is not talking about political palliatives that never last. We have seen enough of such.
“An increase in the price of petroleum from its present N165 to N340 per litre can trigger tension and crises in the country which in turn can paralyse our economy if not handled with utmost care.
“Again, the planned introduction of N5,000 for 40 million poor Nigerians is to create a cesspool of corruption. How do you define the poor? They, mostly, don’t use telephones. They, mostly, don’t have bank accounts. How will the money get to them?” he said.
Oke admonished the Federal Governemnt to be wary of policies that could jeopardise the conduct of the 2023 general elections, insisting that all hands must be geared towards steering the wheel of the country to safety.
As a panacea to the rising cost of food items, the PFN President advised that farmers and relevant stakeholders should be empowered with relevant tools and funds such as loans with little interest.
Oke, who is the presiding Bishop of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, implored the Federal Government not to relent in its efforts at ensuring that security challenges in the country become a thing of the past.