A former gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, on Wednesday said Nigerians have very good reasons to reject the fuel price hike and increase in electricity Tariff by the Federal government.

He, however, said Nigerians must face the reality that the government can no longer afford to subsidise fuel and electricity.

The Federal Government had last week raised the pump price of petrol to N151, which propelled the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to direct its members to sell the product for N162 per litre.

Since the announcement of the price increase, many Nigerians have continued to protest, describing the decision as callous and insensitive.

Speaking in a chat with INDEPENDENT, Agbaje said it will be difficult for the federal government to convince Nigerians to accept the increase in a country where there are no social welfare programmes, employment rate is high and there is lack of trust between the leadership and citizens.

He said: “It is going to be a hard sell in a country where social buffers are non-existent, the health system is weak and unemployment is unacceptably high.

“There is also a lack of trust between the leadership and the citizens”.

“The reality, however, is that the government can no longer afford to subsidize fuel and electricity.

“This is a good time to take another look at how our country can work better for the benefit of the majority of Nigerians who live in poverty.”