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Fuel Subsidy: A Play On Nigerian Citizens By Oke Umurhohwo




The recent abrupt and poorly executed increase in fuel prices in Nigeria has left many citizens devastated. The government has justified this hike by linking it to the removal of fuel subsidies. While I have previously supported the idea of removing subsidies, I find it hard to believe that the recent price increase is genuinely related to subsidy removal, as some have claimed.

President Buhari’s administration employed a similar tactic during his tenure, increasing fuel prices in 2016 under the pretext of subsidy removal. However, it was later revealed that the government had actually spent over N11 trillion on fuel subsidies during those eight years. This history raises concerns about the recent development and its resemblance to previous fuel price increases.

True subsidy removal would entail full deregulation of the downstream sector, according to widely accepted definitions. Yet, the recent price hike does not align with the principles of market forces. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as the sole importer of fuel, sets the pricing template that affects all filling stations nationwide. This centralized control contradicts the notion of market-driven fuel prices.

Therefore, it is crucial for the new administration to provide clarity on the subsidy issue. Nigerian citizens should not be subjected to the pains caused by the recent price hike, only to later discover that subsidies are still being paid, as was the case under the previous administration. If the current government is genuinely committed to subsidy removal, it must take the necessary steps to open up the sector, promote competition, and allow market forces to determine fuel prices, rather than relying on a single importer like the NNPC.

Additionally, the government must outline its plans for investing the funds that will be saved from the subsidy regime. This should include implementing measures to mitigate the impact on the people, similar to what the Goodluck Jonathan administration did in 2012 when subsidy removal was considered. Furthermore, it is essential for the government to be transparent about where the funds that were supposed to go into fuel subsidies will be allocated. It would be unacceptable for Nigerian citizens to endure the hardships of subsidy removal only to have the saved funds end up in private pockets.

Over the years, subsidies have consumed more than N20 trillion, a staggering amount that could have been used to improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, and other critical areas. While it is clear that subsidies have outlived their usefulness, they should not be used as a tool to deceive Nigerian citizens, as has happened in the past.


In conclusion, the government needs to act transparently and responsibly regarding fuel subsidies. The removal of subsidies should be accompanied by true deregulation, promoting market forces and competition. The saved funds must be invested wisely and not fall into the wrong hands. Nigerian citizens deserve a fair and accountable approach that brings tangible benefits to their lives, rather than continuing the mistakes of the past.

***Oke Umurhohwo writes from Ughelli, Delta State


The Paul Erinne Foundation: Stamping out poverty, hunger in Nigeria




Food security has in recent times become most-valued and desired across all status, communities and institutions due to the effects of corruption which has over the years wrecked serious havoc, being a cankerworm against adequate welfare of Nigeria citizens as well as socioeconomic growth and development of the nation.

The ugly scenarios has no doubt brew joblessness, hunger and high level poverty among others.

Religious orientation aside, many people believe that with a serious anti-corruption drive, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Nigeria in particular, can achieve speedy economic growth to the benefit of the citizens.

Thus, in a country where corruption thrives, if care was not taken, such society will be ruined by corruption.

As part of efforts towards improving thee quality of lives and support development of human capital for the needs of a modern society within a caring healthcare system, a Non-Governmental Organization, The Paul Erinne Foundation, was established with core values to providing care and empathy to the less privileged and larger public.

The Founder of the NGO, Engr. Paul Tunde Erinne, said that his aim is to make the society better than he met it, adding that his life ambition is to live and die for the poor through passionate work and believe that any blessing from God must be reflected in the ways it affects others.

Speaking on the achievements of the foundation since 30 years of its existence, the Engr. Erinne said that indigenes of Enugu, Kogi, Kwara, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Lagos, Ondo and Taraba states have benefited from the largesse of the Foundation.

He said that the foundation has made contributions in reducing the burden of poverty in such areas as:
1. Basic Health: Building of Health Centres. Provision of water. Provision of food stuff.
2. Empowerment for Sustainability: Skills acquisition. Micro-credits. Support for Agriculture.
3. Education: Building of school blocks and equipping of classrooms. Award of Bursaries/Scholarships.
4. Shelter: Provision of shelter for widows.

In specific terms, among activities of the foundation includes; annual end-of-year food distribution to widows, for example at The Cathedral Of The Good Shepherd in Enugu, Enugu State. On the average, 4,000 widows benefit from the exercise on the 24th of every December.

A four-storey building was erected in 2008, and donated to Paul University Awka, Anambra state, while Assembly Hall building was also built for Union Secondary School, Okija, Anambra state and donated to the school in 2016.

A house was built for a widow at Nanka, Anambra State, in 2019 and Saint Paul’s charity home for a widow, at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Ogbete, Enugu state, is nearing completion.

St. Peters Anglican Church, Okija, Anambra state and Saint Anthonys Catholic Church, Ogui-New Layout, Enugu, were completed in 2013. The structures were supported with provision of high quality aluminium windows.

Umuapani Village Hall, Ubahu Okija, Anambra state was built and completed with a borehole, and donated by the founder in 2015.

Another project by the foundation was completion of the Reverend Father’s house from the first floor level, at Christ The King Parish, Ubahu Okija, Anambra state. The project was dedicated on Easter Monday, 2019.

Four-storey building built and donated by the founder to Saint Joseph’s Home for physically and mentally challenged children, and orphans is managed by the Holy Family Sisters Of The Needy. The building was donated in 2007. The upkeep of the home is supported by the Paul Erinne Foundation.

The foundation, which started as a deep concern and passion by the founder to make the society better than he met it, has improved life and service to humanity.


“The Paul Erinne Foundation is, therefore, conceived in line with best global practices not just to lift Nigerians out of poverty but to also improve the quality of life. This commitment has been the driving force in the interventions the Foundation has made in health-care support, in human empowerment, and in human capital development across many cities in Nigeria. The Foundation is guided by the philosophy that developing men and women should come first, before developing cities”, the founder said.

“Paul Erinne Foundation started informally in 1998, as a personal intervention by the Founder to bridge the gap in quality human capital and equip youths with skills for the future. Paul followed the example of his late father by paying school fees for over 50 students, a function which he has since transferred to the Foundation.

“Today, the number of beneficiaries has doubled both within and beyond our shores.
Until its formal registration in 2015, the Foundation was run by the Founder, who was following the footsteps of his educationists and philanthropists’ parents – Mr. D.C. Erinne and Mrs. D.E. Erinne, both now of blessed memory, of Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

To ensure continuity and that the foundation outlives the founder, he said that the foundation is being managed by congregations of Roman Catholic Reverend Sisters and religious Reverend Fathers, namely; the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Congregation), the Holy Ghost Fathers, the Reverend Sisters of the Hand-made of Holy Child Jesus (HHCJ), The Daughters of Divine Love (DDL), and Holy Family Sisters of The Needy (HFSN).

Operating from Enugu, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, plays a pivotal advisory role geared towards achieving the laid-out goals of the Foundation.

Until her demise, the Foundation was ably assisted in policy formulation by Paul’s aunt, a well experienced and eminent lady; Mrs. Phoebe Chiadi Ajayi-Obe, second female SAN in Nigeria and the first from the Eastern part of Nigeria.

The founder’s cousin, Professor Ifeoma Enemuo, a one-time Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, and a lawyer by profession, is gradually filling the gap.

Apart from members of the clergy listed above, the board which also consists of highly placed individuals and founder’s junior brother, Dr. Sam Erinne, has been working harmoniously and strategically to upscale the various interventions of the Foundation, in assisting the poor and needy to realize their potentials and lead a much-fulfilled life.

As Nigerians and Nigeria’s government continue to struggle and find an equilibrium for peaceful co-existence in the society through adequate supply of food items and creation of jobs to the teeming youths, The Paul Erinne Foundation has already taken a lead in the campaign and advocacy both in principle and in practice for the general well-being of humanity.

**Arowona Abdulazeez, a public analyst and media consultant writes via

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Who Healed The President? – Tayo Ogunbiyi




In the estimation of self-styled doctors and soothsayers, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ought to have died by now. They swore that he was very sick. No sooner had the then candidate Bola Tinubu won his party’s ticket to run for the presidency than they came up with tales of his terrible health condition.

What exactly was his health challenge?

Without giving any valid proof, the pseudo doctors quickly went to town with accounts of how his kidneys have gone so bad. They also gave stories of how he was moving with the aid of a machine kept inside of his left heart.

Some claimed he was actually suffering from amnesia and Parkinson disease. He would not survive the rigour of a tough political campaign.

Another tale had it that his sickness was so bad that he had started peeing on his body! So strong was this claim that it reverberated in a viral video by one of his most trusted political allies.

With all these tales of woes, candidate Bola Tinubu was a disaster waiting to happen! To really drive home the point that the man was a walking corpse, a group of jesters also joined in the fray. They composed a song titled, ‘Baba wey dey shake’(literally translated as the sick Papa).

In the said virile song, they taunted him with his alleged ill-health, contending that virtually all the organs of his body have packed up. They chorused: ‘Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, he still dey say emilokan’ (with shaking hands and legs, he still says it is my turn to be President).

Surprisingly, candidate Bola Tinubu was unperturbed by all the ill-health jibes. He surged on with the agility of an athlete poised to break World/Olympic records. In-spite of his purported failing health, he ran a most strenuous political campaign, combing the length and breadth of the country with his ‘Renewed Hope’ mantra.

He was reported to be holding a series of political meetings deep into the night. Even so, he would be the first to be on the road for yet another political engagement the following day. He even went to places considered quite dangerous. A particular case was a village in Kaduna State, Birnin Gwari, noted for its protracted terrorists’ escapades. Against every persuasion, then candidate Bola Tinubu insisted on visiting the village. He and his team got there in the dead of the night. The Emir was so impressed that he bequeathed him a traditional title.

*Yet, the quasi doctors were not convinced. He remained a sick man. The verdict? He was not fit for the throne. However, come election day, the electorate had a different view as he defeated his closest rivals to emerge the 16th President of the country.*

About two weeks after he was pronounced winner, he left the shores of the country for France. His handlers said he needed a moment of rest and reflection, considering the enormous task ahead.

But his self-appointed wannabe doctors would have none of that. He was going to France to seek urgent medical attention as some of the gadgets fixed to his body were already malfunctioning and needed to be reworked.

While in France, radiant pictures of the man and his family together with political associates surfaced online. Still, his self-appointed physicians insisted he was at the Intensive Care Unit, ICU, of a French hospital. They claimed the online pictures were merely carefully doctored by his handlers to fool Nigerians.

At the appointed time, they claimed they were going to reveal the name of the hospital where he was admitted and show the whole world how life-threatening his health condition was. It was so bad that he could no longer recognise anyone. So they alleged.

*A few days to the inauguration, Bola Tinubu arrived in the country, using his words: “after a refreshing and rewarding time in France”. He was seen coming down from the aircraft with the liveliness of a bubbling youth, waving enthusiastically at his supporters who had come in their numbers to welcome him back home.*

Yet, the quasi medics were not persuaded. Rather, they called attention to a supposed machine allegedly fixed on one of his pockets as an authentic proof that their ‘patient’s ailment was yet to be healed. Before you could say Jack Robinson, pictures of the purported machine had gone virile.

“Yes, we said so. He is a sick man. We don’t want another Yar’Adua”, the disciples of the phoney doctors chorused.


*Since his inauguration, rather than die as they had predicted, the President has continued to exhibit traits of a man whose faculties are intact. He has made decisions that have been considered sound and apt from far and near. Even his worst critics have agreed that the man has begun his presidency on a sound footing.*

*In his first official overseas trip to France (what is it with the President and France?) where he attended the maiden Summit on New Global Financing Pact in Paris, he looked quite energetic, holding several meetings with notable world monetary bodies and individuals.*

Perhaps, the highlight of his outing in France was the manner he galloped, like an Under-17 footballer, to hug French President Emmanuel Macron on the last day of the Paris Summit. He was so lively and full of energy that one would think he was the younger of the two.

*Curiously, of late, the quasi doctors and their disciples seem unconcerned about the President’s health. They seem to have been disappointed that their skewed diagnosis has failed. Probably, they are now convinced that they are wrong after all.*

*How can a sick President be almost everywhere bubbling with life. After he left Paris, the President flew to London where he reportedly paid his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, a private visit.*

*He left London for Lagos and was engaged in a flurry of activities that were certainly not appropriate for a sick man. In one day, he was in Ijebu-Ode and Abeokuta, both in Ogun State, on a private visit to the monarchs of the respective ancient Yoruba towns. Same day, in the evening, he was back in Lagos as a guest of the State government, which held a colourful reception in his honour.*

*The following day, he attended to a visiting African Head of State, while also making several private visits to notable individuals such as the Oba of Lagos, Hajia Abba Folawiyo, Haji Binta Tinubu and a host of others.*

Since the pseudo doctors and their adherents seem to have mellowed about his health concern, the question they need to urgently answer now is: Who healed the President?


Ogunbiyi is Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.

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