All men are created equal but not all opinions.

Celebrities wield enormous influence in our lives and the SHOWDOWN crew is on a quest to unravel the perspectives of your favorite celebrities on the most controversial issues facing Nigeria’s youth. Today, we have highly respectable and influential celebrities here with us on the show and they are ready to share their different views on the recent removal of fuel subsidy which is causing huge uproar all across the nation.




My name is Oni Oluyomi, the moderator of this show.

With me here are the judges, Miss Ife Olujuyigbe and Mr Richard Ogunleye.



Our first debater on the show is Mubarak Tiamiyu.



Profile:  Mubarak Tiamiyu, a Software Evangelist, Public Speaker, Author, 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow and Curator *TEDxIsaleGeneral*. I live at


He is going to support the motion.


Our second debater is Oladayo Ogunbowale


Profile: Ogunbowale Oladayo is clergy, a good governance, leadership, peace and youth development advocate. He is the founder and convener of change alliance initiative. A fellow of USIP Generation Change project, he has delivered development speeches in over 30 major cities around the world. He is currently news analyst with IBR 92.5FM Ibadan.


He is opposing the motion.





Here is the structure for the debate

1 Moderator

2 judges

2 celebrity debaters


Moderator gives us an exciting introduction into the topic and introduces the judges and the debaters.


Round 1: prepared speeches

1st debater: 5 mins

2nd debater: 5 mins


Moderator makes some comments and the debate resumes


Round 2: Rebuttals

1st debater: 4 mins

2nd debater: 4 mins


Moderator makes some comments, then hands over to the judges for CROSS-EXAMINATION.

The moderator rounds up.




During cross-examination, judges ask the debaters to clarify points which they made but wasn’t clear. Debaters have 2 mins to respond.

I will also add that our debaters be mindful of time. Thanks

And so the debate begins.


Please welcome the first debater, Mr Mubarak Tiamiyu!



Tiamiyu Mubarak:

Alright. I’ve been holding on for a while

Let me make an open disclaimer that I’m not a celebrity.

When I make it to the front page of *Forbes magazine*, you can add that!



It’s alright sir

You influence lives, so you’re seen as a celebrity


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

Second disclaimer! I’m not here to argue. I’ve learned that you can’t win an argument. Rather we will be spending the next few minutes sharing what we individually believe and why.


Oni Oluyomi:

Hmm true, It’s your opinion that we need sir.


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

I support the “Removal of Fuel Subsidy” which is technically referred to as the Deregulation of the Downstream sector, because I believe is a SMART move for the Petroleum Industry, Nigeria and Nigerians.

Don’t get me “twisted”. Not all SMART moves are safe and popular and that’s why it’s not going to go well with all concerned parties.

I began to support the Removal of Fuel Subsidy for two core reasons : 1) Education and Factual Awareness on what the Fuel Subsidy is and what it’s not 2) My relative higher believe and confidence in the current administration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as compared to earlier ones I’ve witnessed in my lifetime .



Okay sir, thank you. Your time is up for the first round


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

I believe that anyone who has those who has those two reasons would have no choice than to support the Removal of Fuel Subsidy, regardless of the current economic challenges.


Oni Oluyomi:

I’m inviting our second debater now


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

I’m stepping aside here


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

A very beautiful evening to everyone here.

Moderator, panel of judges and my amazing co debater.

I do not support the removal of subsidy on PMS in Nigeria at this time.

Pms subsidy removal started with the Babangida regime in 1986, he jerked up the pump price twice in one lunar year.

Be informed also that the current hike in pms pump price is not directly due to subsidy removal (as no kobo was budgeted for it this year) rather, it is a pointer to the disaster ahead as i shall elucidate in my next points…

Subsidy removal never permanently lowered pump price in Nigeria since 1986, no magic will make it so even now. Check out the ones we removed their subsidy…

Diesel is sold at 130-160,

Kerosene at 135-180

Still suprised at the fixed 135-145 for PMS?

An economy with double digit inflation, fluctuating GDP and high debt profile is not ready for subsidy removal.

Anticorruption crusade should be focused on the petroleum sector to end our ‘cabalocracy’ and not subsidy removal.

Subsidy is governments only leverage to fix price, you lose, it, its free style for marketers.

That’s it for my 5minutes




Thank you sir.

I’m already excited about this.

I’m sure everyone here is.


Now for the second round, Mr Mubarak Tiamiyu you’re up next

This time you have 4 minutes.



Tiamiyu Mubarak:

Thanks Mr oladayo. I do agree that it may not be the best economic time to remove fuel Subsidy, but if not now, when?



Please remember its rebuttals

You’re to counter your opponent’s view


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

As against your comparism of PMS with Kerosene and Diesel, I’ll say these are not comparable commodities.

Fact is, the Daily demand and usage of PMS doubles those of kerosene & diesel combined. Hence, proper deregulation would bring down the pump price of PMS, it may only take time.

Poor leadership led us to this mess. We never required fuel Subsidy payment from the onset. Whoever started it, doesn’t love Nigeria.

A SIM CARD used to cost #35, 000 Naira in 2003, but in 2016 it’s *FREE* and no one is ready collect it. That’s what high market demand and competition does any market, whether it’s Telecoms, transport or Petroleum.



Okay sir, your time is up for now. Thank you


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

As regards education on the subsidy removal, the average nigerian is still confused as to what caused the fuel hike. Is it subsidy removal according to femi adesina or forex leasing to oil importers according to our vice president or the pipeline vandalism leading to low production from our refineries according to Ibe Kachikwu? We are just not ready yet. Again our economy is down with national budget after several hide and seek plus padding, being passed in May and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) still expecting fund release, we are not ready, this is pure and applied Chain and not change.


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

Can anyone imagine that the FG was paying 25,000 Naira over each Sim card so that we could get Sim at 10,000 then? Some “idiots” and “cabals” would have become inexplicably rich while we still buy those SIMs at 10,000 Naira or a figure around that.



Hold on Mr Mubarak


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

Diesel and petrol are better compared than sim card which is bought once and for all.



Okay sirs, the time is over for the second round


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

By the way, nothing was paid to subsidize sim cards, we never had telecoms subsidy. We paid through our noses.



Thank you both for your point of views.

People are claiming that the circumstances during Jonathan regime and Buhari administration are not the same


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

Yes. the circumstances aren’t the same. That’s very clear and obvious



But we are seeing that the strike/ revolution that was proposed against the rise of fuel is not that effective, Why is that?


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

Thats advanced politics 501. The aggressors of 2012 are now on the hot seat….feeling the heat!


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

I love that part, “We paid through our noses.”  let’s do same to save our Petroleum i



Okay gentlemen thank you

NLC calls off nationwide strike

Your views please


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

There are two different factions in the NLC, this is a major setback in their agitation as they are left to fight on ego and relevance first before considering the polity.

Also be informed that this may not be unconnected with the “begging” visit of APC national leader; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the NLC national secretariat on friday and saturday. There are several ‘noty’ ways to convince a divided group of aggressors and reasoning isn’t on the plate here.



I’m handing over to the judges now


Dr Richard Spark:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

The time here with our guests Celebs has been worthwhile.

I must also commend Miss Oni Yomi for moderating a very interesting debate on core National issues…


Moderator: Yes it has, Thank you


Dr Richard Spark:

These are matters that affect our daily lives and reflect the level of Leadership as well as followership in our dear country Nigeria…

Very interesting… In fact scintillating!

For a start can we have Mr Ogunbowale Oladayo answer few questions pertaining to his point of view and stance concerning Fuel Subsidy Removal: Change or Chain

My questions will soon follow sir…

The removal of Subsidy paid on fuel has always been a sensitive issue that have always resulted in Strike actions by Labour. What do you think is the best way to end “cabalocracy” in the petroleum sector other than Subsidy Removal?


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

Two things.

Beam the anticorruption light on the petroleum sector and build or get private investors to build large capacity refineries so as to end importation.


Dr Richard Spark:

Wow…Thank you for your response Sir… I read an article recently by one Dr Ola Oduwole…


Oladayo Ogunbowale:



Dr Richard Spark:

In his article he mentioned how Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan brought in Reginald Stanley to look into the sharp practices in the downstream petroleum sector.


Dr Richard Spark:

After the exercise 80% of workers were redeployed.It was discovered that over 60% of Subsidy between 2008 to 2011 were paid out to fraudulent recipients…However nobody has been brought to book to my knowledge.

Surely an anti-corruption beam has reached the Oil Sector but do you think that is enough?

Oladayo Ogunbowale: The anticorruption light beamed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration was mere eye service as no one was prosecuted

Dr Richard Spark: Very correct Sir…


Oladayo Ogunbowale:

Money changed hands and committees were setup to analyze reports by committees setup to analyze the report of the original committee….dead end!


Dr Richard Spark

Now, to Mr. Tiamiyu, please can you explain again very briefly how the sim card illustration connects to the fuel subsidy removal? I didn’t quite get it the first time. Thank you.


Ife Olujuyigbe:

Let me just say that I commend both debaters and the moderator and everyone involved in this great initiative.

I think that, perhaps because the arguments are strictly timed, there wasn’t enough room to properly drive points home as I suspect both debaters would have loved to.


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

All well said. As to the anti-corruption beam spoken about by Mr Oladayo, that would become a joke if the payment of fuel Subsidy remained. You can’t reform a system while leaving what caused the mess in the first instance.


Dr Richard Spark:

Thank you so much Mr Ogunbowale…My colleague here with us Ife Olujuyigbe shall make her contributions.


Ife Olujuyigbe:

Because it’s for the public to decide, I’d just like to add that for the average Nigerian in an overpopulated city like lagos, whose only concern is to survive and put food on the table for him, his wife and five children to eat and sleep, he doesn’t exactly care for subsidy or its removal. He just doesn’t want to pay double when his earnings have not increased by a kobo.

So my question to Mr Tiamiyu is this: how do you make him see that this is all for his ultimate good  in very basic terms.


Ife Olujuyigbe:

And can you also shed a little more light on how the sim card illustration connects to the fuel subsidy removal. I didn’t quite get it the first time. Thank you.


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

@Ife Olujuyugbe: As to making the average man see that this SMART move is to his ultimate good, that’s gonna be a long shot for two reasons.

  1. The Nigerian Political space from FG to LGA doesn’t represent Servant Leadership, where the leaders feel an immense obligation to update and feedback the led on the status of things. Ask your self when was the last time you had from your state governor on core issues like education, infrastructure, Security etc. It rarely happens. Our leaders see themselves as “Lords” over us and, with the kinda polity we run here, that feels cool. I’ll be meeting with the executive governor of Oyo State in a few days and part of my suggestions for him would be regular Dialogue , timely feedback and more open conversations with the people.


Ife Olujuyigbe:



Tiamiyu Mubarak:

  1. The Nigerian masses have long been disappointed with the government. In all countries, the world over, not everyone agrees with the government and her policies. But, in Nigeria the disbelieve and Lack of trust is so huge that is difficult for anyone (not in the corridor of power) to agree that the government ever means well with anything. So, if the government starts her pro-people dialogue and conversations, it would still take time to win the sincere belief of the common man.

On a final note, I think it’s not what the common man believes that Matters in governance. Governance is sometimes very difficult to explain or make everyone buy in. It’s about government doing what’s BEST for the people, whether they understand/believe it or not. EMPATHY & SINCERITY play key roles there. We need servant leaders and leaders who will be true to us and that’s a call for everyone here.


Ife Olujuyigbe:


While you’re still typing, let me add quickly that this is about you selling the pro-fuel-subsidy-removal motion, not necessarily the government. Seeing that you’re in support of the motion, how do you convince the said man to see your point?


Tiamiyu Mubarak:

It’s a broad issue. I wish I had enough time to treat it. And like I said in my second disclaimer, I’m not attempting to convince anyone, I’m just here to share my stand and why I chose to stand there



Okay ladies and gentlemen, it has indeed been a showdown.

I want to thank our debaters for sharing their views

It has been deep and mind blowing!

Thank you sirs, we really appreciate you for coming on the maiden edition of the show.

And to our judges, you have really been wonderful.

Thank you so much for participating.

Your questions have been great and quite revealing.

And now we are ending the show!

To all our readers, who won the debate? What’s your take on fuel subsidy removal?
Let us know in the comments section.


Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

3 thoughts on “REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY: CHANGE OR CHAINS? (Celebrity debate)

  1. The Show debate has brought to the yore one great revelation. The need to involve people in decision making process. In advance society that is highly cosmopolitan, the referendum has always been a key component of hearing out the voice of the populi.Our Elsie’s is still far. But by and large market forces is key to economic development and deregulation of the critical areas of the monotholic economy like ours is highly essential towards providing better and quality services for our people. Thank you Moderator.


    1. You’re right sir. The government’s priorities should be for the people. That’s what democracy is all about….Listening to the voice of the people. Thanks for sharing sir.

      Liked by 1 person

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