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Former Ambassador urges comprehensive approach to alleviating plight of rural women

by Business News Report

A former spokesman for Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and Nigerian emeritus Ambassador to Mexico, Ogbole Amedu-Ode has said that the removal of petrol subsidy will impact heavily on women in rural areas. In an interview with news men Amedu-Ode emphasised the need to protect this vulnerable group and for a comprehensive approach to address the challenges faced by the wider population. When asked about the plight of women in rural areas, Amedu-Ode raised a thought-provoking question, questioning whether the focus should solely be on women or if other vulnerable groups should also be considered. He highlighted that the removal of the subsidy on petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), affects all segments of society, including men, children, and urban dwellers. The economy’s heavy reliance on PMS for transportation and electricity generation has made the subsidy removal impact felt by all.

Recognising the immediate consequences of the subsidy removal, Amedu-Ode stressed the importance of government intervention at the federal, state, and local levels. He called for the implementation of ameliorative measures to mitigate the expected adverse effects, considering that the economy is still recovering from the Naira redesign imbroglio. “A comprehensive strategy to cushion the impact on vulnerable groups, including rural women, is necessary,” he said. Regarding the timing of the subsidy removal announcement made by President Bola Tinubu, Amedu-Ode expressed his support, stating that the issue of subsidy has lingered for years without any administration taking decisive action until now. He commended the current administration for its courage in tackling this recurring challenge. When asked about the proposed industrial action by organised labour as a solution, Amedu-Ode offered a different perspective. He suggested that labour should engage in negotiations with the new administration, focusing on finding ways to mitigate the adverse effects of the policy.

He proposed reallocating resources from subsidy financing to critical infrastructure and utilities investment. Amedu-Ode argued that this approach could lead to a downward price spiral for goods and services, eventually alleviating the burden on the population. Amedu-Ode emphasised the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach to tackle the challenges faced by rural women and address the wider impact of subsidy removal. He encouraged stakeholders to engage in dialogue and negotiations to find sustainable solutions while ensuring the welfare of all segments of society. “Only through a collective effort can Nigeria navigate this transition period and build a more resilient and equitable future,” he said.

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