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Impact of Fuel Subsidy Removal on Women

On Monday 29 May, 2023, in his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said Nigeria's fuel subsidies would be scrapped, citing budgetary concerns. The decision led to a steep rise in fuel prices and widespread panic-buying.

Women across the country have been greatly impacted by this decision. In this podcast, we talked to different women in the streets of Nigeria to assess how the removal has affected their livelihoods and survival. Despite the recent passing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the development of the oil and gas downstream sector has not reached the desired levels. Until now, the downstream sector's existing subsidy system and legal framework tend to discourage investments.

Kebetkache recently spoke with women and girls about the effects the announcement of the withdrawal of "Fuel Subsidy" and the over 280% increase in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) have had on their livelihood and welfare.

Increased transportation expenses brought on by high fuel prices, which have a direct influence on agricultural productivity, are one of the biggest effects of the elimination of fuel subsidy. Energy is needed to convey agricultural inputs to farmers and to power the equipment used to produce food. As a result, the country's food insecurity has worsened as customers struggle to afford daily meals at higher rates due to the high transportation expenses.

Women have a tremendous impact on rural and agricultural economies in Nigeria, and they make up about 43% of the agricultural work force. They significantly improve agricultural output, food security and nutrition, land and resource management, and enhancing climate change resilience.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) 2023 assessment, 25.3 million Nigerians lack adequate food, and malnutrition rates have more than doubled in most northern regions.Given that more than 90% of Nigeria's working population spends 65% of their income on food and related expenses, food inflation, which has reached 24.61 percent, is the main cause of the country's core inflation.

In this Vox-Pop, women shared their experiences and opinions on the matter. Listen -

Some persons have adjusted and hoping it’s for the betterment of the country and that with time, things would be normalize. But what is the guarantee that after the hardship we wouldn’t have the elite re-loot the savings from the reversal and furthermore impoverish the people?

Once more, the state of things in rural areas is quite pathetic. Imagine that they are dealing with health issues and need to get to the hospital. Most people have turned to self-help, which has well-known implications, as a result of the high expense of transportation.

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