WOMEN REJECT FUEL PRICE INCREASE

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE KEBETKACHE WOMEN DEVELOPMENT & RESOURCE CENTRE ON THE AFTERMATH OF THE HIKE IN THE PRICE OF FUEL BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA RELEASED ON FRIDAY, 6TH OF JANUARY 2012

 

WOMEN REJECT FUEL PRICE INCREASE

The Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre and the network of community women we work with strongly condemn the decision by the Federal Government to increase the price of petrol from N65 to N141 per litre beginning on the 1st of January 2012. The Federal Government led us and every other Nigerian to believe that no action in the direction of subsidy removal will be taken till the 1st of April 2012, but government took the good will of the people for granted and decided to welcome Nigerians into 2012 with the hard news of increase in the price of fuel from N65 to N141.

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Many people who traveled to their various villages to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays with their loved ones are taken unawares and have become stranded because transport fares have tripled overnight and their budgets for the holidays were not drawn up with the recent development in mind. The hike in the price of fuel has automatically raised the prices of every other article, goods and services. In Port Harcourt filling stations sell fuel at N150 per litre while black markets sell at N200-N350 per litre depending on where you buy. We consider government action very insensitive, thoughtless, inconsiderate and unsympathetic to the people, especially community women. While government intention to check the corrupt activities of the cabal appears laudable, the impact of the increase of fuel price on women in devastating, demoralizing and distressing, therefore this unpopular action by the government is totally unacceptable. Government should explore other options of dealing with the cabal. The 99% will not pay for the sins of the 1% (cabal). It is callous to dismiss the public outcry by saying that the removal of fuel subsidy affects only the rich and wealthy. What’s this supposed to mean, that we use candles in our houses in this Nigeria of no regular power supply? Most women own and run hair dressing salons, food is ready joints, big estates, business establishments, churches, corporate offices, restaurants, their sons run barbing salons, almost everything we are involved in requires the services of petroleum products. Is government planning to send these women out of business? You see this also goes a long way to indicate that government has no intention of changing the economic status of community women; government expects them to remain on the same poverty avenue forever. We totally reject this. We find it difficult to appreciate the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment program of the government because those phrases “critical infrastructure” and “safety nets” are only on paper and are political statements always used to mesmerize the vulnerable and marginalized people, how will they translate to a change and transformation in the lives of community women? Over the years government programs have failed to impact positively on the women. Government’s failure to directly tackle the ‘cabal’, which it claims at every instance is responsible for fraud in oil importation, and its failure to revamp the refineries is proof that the reinvestment program will not be actualized. Who constitute the cabal? People who constantly and regularly wine and dine with government officials. Who own the businesses that are managed by the cabal? The same people who run the government machinery. So who is fooling who? We condemn the action of police who have shot at protesters and we condole with the families of those killed as a result of the demonstrations and protests. The protests can only stop when government proves its sincerity by rescinding the decision to increase the price of fuel. Those who bring in water into the country and claim it is imported fuel must be brought to book; Those who carry fuel from Port Harcourt to Lagos and claim it is imported fuel must be made to face the law; The women challenge government to prove its sincerity by making all the refineries functional and productive.

WE HAVE SPOKEN. WE STAND FOR JUSTICE!!!!

 

Signed: EMEM J. OKON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Posted on January 7, 2012, in Campaigns. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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