A cross section of Enugu residents have called for proper overhaul of the refineries before the proposed removal of oil subsidy.
Some of the residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday, decried the current state of refineries in the country.
A civil servant, Mr Emeka Nebo, advised the government to ensure that the refineries were functional before the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.
“If at all the government is insisting on removing oil subsidy, all our refineries must be put in good shape so as to serve the people effectively.
“I strongly believe that if the Warri, Port-Harcourt, and Kaduna refineries are working as they ought to, we will not be complaining about fuel scarcity,” he said.
Another civil servant, Mr Donald Odenigbo, urged the government to be ready to increase workers’ salaries as soon as it removed the subsidy.
“You cannot remove oil subsidy without increasing salaries of workers to cushion the negative effect.
“There is no palliative measure than that, because prices of everything in this country will definitely increase,” he said.
Mrs Phina Nwosu, a lawyer, said that the government should not discuss anything on subsidy removal because it would pose a serious threat to the people.
“Government should not discuss removal of oil subsidy now because it will increase the suffering of the people.
“The past administration wanted to do that but it received knocks from labour and the opposition. Why now?” she queried.
Nwosu joined the call on the Federal Government to urgently put the refineries in order for sustainability.
A petroleum dealer, Mr Solomon Amalu, said that he believed that the removal of oil subsidy would make fuel available in every filling station.
Uju Okoye, a student complained that removal of oil subsidy would amount to increase in prices of goods and services.
According to her, if it is done, school fees, prices of books, transportation, food and everything will increase astronomically and people will suffer.
“I am calling on all Nigerians to get ready for hard times,” she said.