The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has urged the Federal Government to introduce some palliatives that will reduce the effects of the fuel subsidy removal from the 2023 budget on its citizens.
Its founder, Dr Muda Yusuf, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Yusuf said that the government needed to come up with immediate and short-term measures that would mitigate the pains of the sharp increases in transportation and feeding costs on the citizens.
Yusuf, who said that food and transportation account for over 50 percent of household budget of the populace, noted that “something urgent needed to be done”.
According to him, such measures should reduce the cost of food, provide cheaper public transportation options and improve power supply.
He said that improved power supply would help to reduce demand for fuel, for electricity, generators and incentives to promote the use of auto gas.
He added that there must be reduction in import tariffs for intermediate products for food processing companies, elimination of taxes and levies on all agricultural inputs.
According to him, this will boost food production and reduce import tariffs on mass transit buses, among others.
Yusuf also said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pricing should be at least 15 percent less than the prices of private fuel stations.
This, he said, was necessary to signal social sensitivity by government.
“Admittedly, the increase is quite high and the shocks on citizens is enormous as well, but these are some of the inevitable costs of reforms and we need the reforms to prevent the collapse of the economy.
“Apparently, things have to get worse before it gets better.
“It would be painful, initially, but it would progressively get better.
“As the supply side response improves, the prices will moderate.” he said.