POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL IN NIGERIA:
Issues, Challenges and the way forward
Keywords:Politics, Economy, Subsidy Removal, Nigeria, Challenges, Way forward
Political economy is a term used for studying production and trade, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as the distribution of national income and wealth. Political economy originated in moral philosophy. Originally, political economy meant the study of the conditions under which production or consumption within limited parameters were organized in nation-states. Thus, political economy was meant to express the laws of production of wealth at the state level, just as economics was the ordering of the home. Virtually all modern independent States have, as their fundamental goals, the pursuit of the welfare and well-being of their citizens. To achieve these goals, the Nigerian State is required to harness its huge human and material resources for the development of the country. The paper examines the nature and politics of oil subsidy in Nigeria with the aim of identifying the forces behind subsidy removal. To scientifically analyze the issues raised, the study utilized political economy and public choice theories, an eclectic approach. The paper argued that the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government in 2012 violates the fiduciary responsibility of the State as exposed in the preamble to the 1999 constitution. It showcases the insensitivity of the government to the social concerns of the citizenry and attempt by the oil cabal to privatize Nigeria. Given the catalogue of challenges facing fuel subsidy. The paper concludes that, unless the government predicates its legitimacy on the peoples’ support and obedience derived from better socio-economic performance, the country might experience another democratic reversal and recommends among others, that political institutions and institutional rules should be strengthened, accountable and made autonomous of cabals and individuals who might want to manipulate them for group or personal interests.
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