Removal of Fuel Subsidy Will Increase Hardship Of Nigerians, But… Oyegun

Removal of Fuel Subsidy  Will Increase Hardship Of Nigerians,  But… Oyegun

By Chris Suleiman, Abuja

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie- Oyegun n Friday, said the removal of oil subsidy by the Federal Government would bring about a lot of hardship to Nigerians, but the ordinary Nigerians would be the beneficiaries in no distance time.


Oyegun said this while addressing journalists at the party National Secretariat on the Subsidy removal where he added that, “in any case, the current Budget did not provide for subsidies and so if the regime of subsidy is to be re-introduced, it can only do one thing and that is divest resources from the prime needs of other sectors including the programme that is designed to help families that are living at the margin.
According to him “I invited you because of the fundamental announcement made within the last 24 hours because I wanted to join my voice to that of the minister to appeal to the Nigerian public, to the unions and the other civil society groups for understanding of the situation that has led to the partial deregulation of fuel prizes.

He said “the appeal and it is a sincere appeal to the Nigerian people is that there will be a lot of hardship, no question, the increased pump prize will also increase their hardship but the economy is being freed in a way that the ordinary Nigerian will become the major beneficiary and we are talking of a matter of months.

“From removing this one last bottleneck that has held down the Nigerian economy, we are just making an appeal. You should watch what happens in the next few months as far as petrol prizes are concerned as I am very sure that it will come crashing down. And in any case, if we free resources eventually that will be used to create both jobs that have been promised and improve the lots of the Nigerian at the margin. The economy is in bad shape as a result of which our people are going through some hard times but unless we correct some of these chocked points within the economy, we will be going to revive the economy as quickly as should be.
Oyegun reiterated that “It is unfortunate, it is painful what has happened, it will increase cost in all a lot of directions, no doubt about that. But in the medium term, three months whatever, with competition, I foresee also that the prizes will come crashing down when there is availability. NNPC will continue to be in the field anyway either through the refineries, to allow the pipeline to continue to function. Through importation, they will continue to be a player in the fuel supply market. Prizes are bound to come down.
He said “Yes Nigerians have a right to subsidy of that natural resource that the good lord has endowed us. But there is no question at all that over time, the subsidy regime has become so intensely manipulated, so abused that it really was no longer operating in the interest of the Nigerian public. I think that it has become very clear that the kind of queues that have become endemic over several regimes which is a clear indication that something has gone seriously wrong with the subsidy regime.
“Those who were already priviledged were exploiting it to amass even more wealth meanwhile the people for whom it was basically meant has to bear the cost in higher transport fares because each time these queues develop of course the ordinary Nigerian bears the cost, while the importers and manipulators of the system are the ones that make all the money. You are in fact having the middle class of this nation queuing at the petrol stations for long hours to buy fuel at cost N200 a litre. A situation like this is reverberating to the detriment of the same people government whose welfare government has sworn to protect and promote.
“What the new regime is therefore doing is to ensure availability. It is now clear that not having fuel at all and preventing this indecent overnight queues at petrol stations has become soothing that is no longer desirable more so as the fuel when you get it is already over priced. Secondly from our point of view as a party, it has become necessary to fully, if we are to recover from economic situation into which we have been plunged, totally free the economy. Let the normal laws of demand and supply operate. Of course, government will be standing by to protect the long suffering Nigerian.


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