The Senator representing Katsina South senatorial district, Abu Ibrahim, monday urged Nigerians to endure the current hike in the pump price of petrol for a while, arguing that oil subsidy had only been beneficial to the rich and not to the masses.
Ibrahim told journalists in National Assembly that despite the payment of over N1 billion as oil subsidy every month, fuel was only sold at official price in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
According to him, oil subsidy had been a drain on the nation’s treasury, noting that most available fuel was diverted by oil marketers while ordinary citizens groaned under the pain of fuel scarcity.
Ibrahim further said President Muhammadu Buhari could be trusted with the savings from oil subsidy removal because of his pedigree as a honest Nigerian whom he said would deploy the money to build infrastructure.
He said: “Oil subsidy has not been beneficial to the masses. Instead, over N1 billion being paid as subsidy every month had been stolen and mismanaged. This government met an empty treasury.
“Second, subsidy has become a drain on the economy of this country and inspite of of all this, subsidy did not solve the problem. The price of fuel was still high and there was scarcity. I know that in many places, except in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there was nowhere you could buy fuel at the pump price of N86.5. Yet most of the fuel that was available was diverted and ordinary Nigerians were denied its availability.
“Third, many people objected to the removal of oil subsidy simply because past governments were dubious in the management of subsidy but now, we have a government that cannot tamper with Nigerian money. It will use the subsidy money to develop other aspects of economy and social life.
“We have seen clergy men, religious leaders, traditional rulers who said it is the right thing to do and not to continue to postpone the evil days again. Certainly, Buhari will use money to develop infrastructure and develop and improve lives of the citizens,” he said.