According to him, the new ‘no subsidy’ regime will push out “fake businessmen who became true billionaires over night.”
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said that the new fuel pump price is a necessary pain Nigerians must endure temporarily.
Tinubu, who stated this in a statement issued by his media office, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking “a bold step”.
According to him, the new ‘no subsidy’ regime will purge the petroleum sector of the rot undermining its benefits, and push out “fake businessmen who became true billionaires over night.”
“We all want fuel at a cheaper price under the subsidy, we got the right price but not the fuel,” Tinubu was quoted to have said.
“This change will mean higher fuel costs in generally. I would be lying if I said this will cause no pain or dislocation. However, it will rational supply and end the hidden buy substantial costs associated with long waits and delays for fuel. The days and hours of waiting for fuel will be a thing of the past.
“As originally envisioned, the subsidy formed a basic part of the social contract between the people and their government. 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.
“To allow this unfairness to continue would have been a breach of the promise made by this government to the people. While we all have an emotional and sympathetic attachment to the ideals upon which the subsidy was founded,” the statement said.
The two-time governor of Lagos State admitted that he would have ordinarily preferred that the sector was sanitised and not totally liberalised, but he said he is confident that the government of the day took a decision in the best interest of the people.
“This administration entered office with a mandate of CHANGE. The government could not forever sit back and allow this dire inequity to continue lest it forfeit the essence of its mandate,” he said.
“I wish we could have sanitised the subsidy regime and thus continue it, but I believe that President Buhari is removing it not for the austere purpose of saving money but for the nobler purpose of putting those same funds to fairer, more equitable use in order that government might better serve those of us who are truly in need.
“While this may not be perfect, it is a much better deal than the one the subsidy offered us,”the statement said.
READ: ‘APC wouldn’t have won elections without Tinubu,’ Buhari says
The Federal Government announced the removal of fuel subsidy on Wednesday , May 11, and a new pump price of N145 per litre, the move which many Nigerians and civil society groups have condemned.