In offering my solution let me start three illustrative cases:
Salaries were increased and state Governors remembered subsidy.The Governor condition mr. president to enable them pay approved pay increase the subsidy must be removed and the acrued fund redistruibuted . They were all full of expectation of the N1.7trillion extra to suander. Unfortunately things went wrong. the timing and maner.How?
If market price is N500 per bag of garri. Market woman or anyone can determine the transportation and handling cost if the origin and destinations are known. Assuming this cost N100 per bag in truth. Then if Government is paying for transportation and handling cost of N100/bag then the market price will drop to N400/bag. This is subsidy.
Case 2: Now if Government says it is removing such subsidy because the N100/bag is benefitting even an individual, such subsidy removal anti-masses and wrong! Such decision is not in the interest of the common man.
Case 3: However, if Government says it pays N300/bag as subsidy into an individual or few hands, yet the market price is N400/bag rather than N200/bag, and this is not sustainable or good for national economic development. Consequently subsidy shall be removed, only then Government has case and stand better chance of getting massive support.
I think Goodluck’s is Case3. What seem wrong is that while the N300/bag subsidy has been removed Goodluck’s garri is selling for N650/bag and others N700/bag! There is also concern over Goodluck’s supply capacity to meet demand. If he can, why deregulate? What seem wrong is yes the subsidy has been removed, but the common man, the electorates are compelled to pay extra N200/bag above normal; subsidizing for Goodluck, unsustainably!
Conclusion and My proposed Solution,
Nigerians love Goodluck and would want him to succeed. At heart they have supported and are bracing up for subsidy removal. People are yet to recover from the shock of black charismas and usual festive expenses. Nigerians feel insulted: “April fools”! The timing and manner was all wrong!
Continuing with the same Cases above, the win-win scenario is removing subsidy (systematically) and let Goodluck garri sell for N500/bag. The N100/bag subsidy be gathered, used to fulfill pro-people project(s) to win their trust before any further sacrifice should be requested for from the people. The above passages highlighted mistakes of Goodluck government that triggered the subsidy crisis. One of which is deliberate neglect of Best Practices in governance: Consultation and participation. It also highlighted Nigerians’ deep distrust of Government intents due to several decades of deceits and corruption. Therefore it demands patience dialogue and political will to reform and build the required trust and confidence. The urgent measures being taken after the announcement would have been taken and allowed running for two months before the announcement. Sacking Okonje would have been instructive but not pressing. Lets give her a second chance. Nigerians will appreciate if your expected firmness should be directed fostering transparency while against corruption and NNPC. Nigerians are patient and willing to support genuine transparent cause(s). Long live Mr. President! Long live Nigeria!