Renowned constitutional lawyer and former Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) has said Nigerians don’t deserve the pains they are going through as a removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
He also said Nigerians need to know why the Dangote Refinery, which was commissioned by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May this year is yet to begin production.
Organised Labour, led by Joe Ajaero of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Festus Osifo of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on nationwide strike which paralysed activities across the country.
Speaking with QUEST TIMES, Sagay said the suffering being experienced by Nigerians would not have arisen if the federal government had fixed local refineries and ensure that they are productive before the removal of subsidy.
He said “Shortly before this government came to power, I was interviewed on Channels television and I said at that time that Dangote’s refinery is about producing. Therefore, If I were the government coming in, I will not remove subsidy until the refinery is fully working”.
“I am strongly of the view that the local refineries must work until subsidy is removed. If that had been done, all the crisis we have been going through in almost two months would have been avoidable”.
“Nigerians will not experience any crisis as a result of the removal of the subsidy if the local refineries are removed. The pain of Nigerians now as a result of the subsidy removal is heart-rending and I don’t think we deserve it”.
Sagay also implore President Bola Tinubu to send a delegation to Dangote Refinery in Lekki to know why the refinery is yet to begin production.
“I also want a visitation to Dangote Refinery to see what is causing the delay. What is going on? Nigerians need to know the cause of the delay. Fertilizers have been rushed out but this aspect is being held back and I don’t know why”.
During the commissioning of the refinery in May, The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote had said that the first refined petroleum products from the 650,000 barrels per day refinery would hit the market before the end of July.
That however did not happen as the refinery is yet to begin operation.