Fuel Subsidy: Trust In God, But Tie Your Camel


By Adadareporters

As I moved around Abuja this week, I thought about an ancient account that I once read of a religious teacher and his encounter with a Bedouin man — a nomadic Arab tribesman from the harsh lands of the Arabian Peninsula.

At this fateful meeting, it is said that the religious teacher noticed the Bedouin man’s unattended camel and asked about its lack of tethering. The Bedouin, a man of strong faith, responded that he trusted in Almighty Allah to keep his camel restrained. The wise teacher is said to have then imparted a lesson that we should all heed today: “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

With fuel prices now at N617 per litre, as we collectively reflect on the recent subsidy removal and its profound impact on millions of Nigerians, it becomes clear that this lesson holds significance for our nation’s government.

Certainly, for years, we have all agreed that we can no longer sustain a fuel subsidy regime that enriched a select few while harming the masses. Yes, during the 2023 general elections, the three major political parties supported the subsidy’s removal — and the previous administration even took steps to discontinue it in the budget.

Yet, this doesn’t mean that the circumstances surrounding the removal of the subsidy should have been left to chance. This is because since the announcement was made on May 29th, countless Nigerians have found themselves stranded, barely surviving, and pushed to their limits. This drastic policy shift can be likened to Elon Musk’s sudden backward attempt to rebrand Twitter to ‘X’ — starting from the logo. It illustrates that it is not only the decision itself that matters, but also the process of its implementation.

Moving forward, any government policy shift must be accompanied by a well-vetted rollout plan that clearly communicates each step and rationale behind the decision. Such a plan should outline the expected outcomes and benefits, ensuring that all stakeholders comprehend the implications of the action taken in the context of the Nigerian project.

Before policy implementation, meticulous research is paramount to analyse its effects and identify the demographics that will be most affected. By sharing this information with the public, the government can demonstrate its commitment to tailoring policies to our unique realities.

Governance, like life itself, leaves no room for do-overs or repetition of past mistakes. Instead, we must learn from history and chart a different, more thoughtful course. With each policy shift that strips away another safety net from the lives of Nigerians, we risk grave consequences for millions of families.

Therefore, as we move forward, let us continue to trust in God, but let us also be diligent enough to tie all our camels properly. The challenges ahead demand proper preparation in equal measure as steadfast faith. However, as governance deals more with preparation than prayer, it is clear that governments at all levels must do their homework to safeguard the well-being of all our people and the future of our country.

Oluwole Onemola writes from Abuja, Nigeria

Adadainfo Adadareporters.com is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: adadainfo1@gmail.com Phone: 08071790941

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