Fuel Subsidy: An Heavy Yoke That Couldn't Continue - Tinubu
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May 22, 2016 ( Post 1 )
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians not to lament the removal of fuel subsidy, which he described as a heavy yoke that the government could not allow to linger.
The former Governor of Lagos State said for almost three decades, the country had entertained distortions in the downstream oil sector by operating an opaque system susceptible to manipulations and structured in a way that allowed a few people to gain mightily from the system and feed fat on the misery and frustration of millions of Nigerians.
Tinubu said this on Thursday in a statement entitled, ‘Ending price fixing, the making of economic sense’.
“However, we should not lament the departure of something just because of its longevity, particularly, when that very policy had ceased to serve us long ago,” he stated.
The APC leader said the decision to end the subsidy was hard but inevitable, adding that it had transformed into a system where wrongdoers benefitted at the expense of the innocent.
“The bogus supplier was paid for supplying nothing, while you sweated in long queues for fuel that was never there. The smuggler secreted fuel across the border, while our economy crossed the border into fuel scarcity,” he added.
Tinubu said as the price stayed fixed at a low level, investors were apprehensive about fixing existing or building new refineries, and the petrochemical industry remained unfertilised because potential investors could not decipher how they could make a decent return under such a pricing regime.
According to him, because of these imbalances, the nation was forced to export hard currency and many jobs to purchase fuel and other products abroad.
The APC leader, however, stated that the decision should not be a step towards conservative austerity as practiced by the former government, which he said simply wanted to end the programme to “prove obedient to neoliberal economic doctrines.”
Tinubu said the Buhari government took a vastly different approach, adding, “Given the inefficiencies inherent in the pricing regime, this administration asked the fundamental question: could this money be better spent to help the most vulnerable of our people?
The APC leader stated, “What the President did is about the future of our country and that of the next generation. This government is transferring the funds to better spend them and better save the people.
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