The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called for a dialogue between the federal government and other relevant stakeholders on how to resolve the lingering problem of petroleum subsidy.
MAN stressed that if no efforts were made to carry Nigerians along on such national issue, any other moves by the government would end up as a recipe for national disaster in the near future.
LEADERSHIP Sunday recalls that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, recently said that the federal government had no intention to remove fuel subsidy. She explained that subsidy would only be removed when the federal government finds a formula that would cushion the effect on Nigerians.
According to the director-general of MAN, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, "Now, the consideration of fuel subsidy, even though an economic issue and requires deep circumspection and far sightedness, has been infested with social and political considerations. "Whether you retain or remove the subsidy, there are economic, social and political consequences.
"So government needs to engage in frank and strategic conversation with the relevant stakeholders in the value chain and be ready to inform the people and carry them along on the choices we have before us as a nation.
"We must be interested in the future, the young and future generation. No nation can afford to live for the now, because the future is actually rushing at us."
He added: "There has to be a plan, with timelines and milestones that must not be missed on the road to removal of fuel subsidy because it is simply unsustainable in the medium to long term." Ajayi-Kadir said, "The government has to lead the people in a conversation as to what is priority and deserving of subsidy, when and for how long.