The national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu have described the removal of petrol subsidy by President Muhammadu Buhari as a courageous decision to reallocate funds to other more socially productive services and undertakings, stressing that the pain is necessary for the gains to come.
In a statement issued by his media office yesterday, Tinubu argued that it would have been politically easy for the President to sit back and let the subsidy remain in place, adding that in the art of governance, the easiest policy is rarely the best one.
“It was a benefit all were to enjoy. Yet, because past governments were not for and of the people, the true meaning and objective of the subsidy policy became lost. Over the years, the operation of the measure was distorted to where it no longer functioned for the benefit of the masses but for the undue enrichment of a small club of businessmen, some legitimate in their work, some not. Instead of remaining a positive aspect of the social contract, the subsidy was transformed into an opaque haven of intrigue and malfeasance.
It was turned into a shadowy process from which the unscrupulous extracted large sums of money without providing the services and products duly paid for. Fake businessmen became true billionaires over night as if by supernatural force. They paraded themselves as such. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation, the innocent people where left to face erratic supply and were made to groan in the misery of long fuel queues and the high costs and loss of time attendant to this situation,” Tinubu explained.
On his part, Kalu declared that the subsidy was beneficial to a cabal in the oil sector and greatly disadvantageous to the majority of Nigerians.
In statement by his media advisor, Mr. Ebere Wabara, Kalu said: “Recall that, in my congratulatory message to President Buhari when he was being sworn in, I pleaded with him to jump-start the economy by removing the subsidy on fuel as it had been abused over the years by oil barons who capitalised on it to massively enrich themselves to the detriment of the larger society.
“It is gratifying to note that Buhari has taken the bold step of blocking this outlet that pauperises most Nigerians while making a few others richer and richer and leaving the country’s economy in comatose.
“This is the best thing to happen to the petroleum industry since the advent of this administration.