Fuel Scarcity: Tinubu Canvasses Removal Of Subsidy
AS Nigerians continue to groan under fuel scarcity across the country, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu has called for the immediate removal of subsidy from the oil sector of the economy by the Federal Government.
Tinubu explained that the subsidy that was created to aid the common man has become a device used by unpatriotic Nigerians to produce a windfall for themselves and subject majority of Nigerians to hardship.
The APC Chieftain spoke yesterday in Kaduna during the 10th Anniversary Memorial Seminar for the late Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman organised by Centre for Democratic Development and Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
Tinubu, whose lecture was titled ‘Towards the Economic Liberation of Nigeria’ said: “I am one of those enjoying or benefiting from the cheap pump price per litre, but I don’t need it. I rather pay for the availability of fuel and let the needy benefit more from higher pump price.
“In a perfect world, I wish we could sanitise the subsidy regime and thus continue it. However, I have reached the conclusion that there are too many demons in the system for that hell to be turned into heaven. Better that we remove it, not for the austere purpose of saving money but to use the money more wisely that we might better save the people. Better spend the money to save the people instead of expend the people to save money”.
He added: “I would choose to remove the subsidy and use the money to help people. Let us feed our school children, with our local produce. Let us promote agriculture, create jobs and start erecting a social safety net for the vulnerable among us in true need.
Let us begin a process of a thoughtful but decisive subsidy phase-out. While this is occurring, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest, most vulnerable among us. Programmes such as transportation subsidies, school feeding, improved basic medical care and coverage for the poor, and potable water projects are some of the things that can be done with the same funds.”
Tinubu continued: “This way we can undertake this massive expenditure confident that the fruits will go to the hungry, not the already too well fed. End the fuel subsidy. Subsidise the people instead.”
He, however, urged Nigerians to emulate Bala Usman by shirking the conventional wisdom to reform the political economy, if the nation must move forward.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai extolled the late historian, noting that “he cared about ordinary people and spent his life fighting for the common man.”