Tinubu backs removal of fuel subsidy, praises Buhari's courage
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has come out strongly for the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.Tinubu, who was an ardent opponent to the removal of the subsidy in 2012 by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, has made a dramatic volte face by praising the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari administration for going the way of subsidy removal.
According to the APC leader, while he appreciates the additional pains it would bring on the Nigerians, it is only option open to the government if the country is to get out of the trap of subsidy manipulators who are feeding fat on the pains of Nigerians.
He said that over the years, the operation of the measure had 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, subsidy was transformed into an opaque haven of intrigue and malfeasance.”
In his words, “The President's decision to reallocate funds once earmarked for the fuel subsidy and commit these to other more socially productive services and undertakings was a difficult decision. It was also a necessary one. Politically, it would have been easy for the president to sit back and let the subsidy remain in place, yet in the art of governance, the easiest policy is rarely the best one.
As originally envisioned, subsidy formed a basic part of the social contract between the people and 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.”
For the political juggernaut, the machinery of the subsidy had become so polluted that it was no longer feasible to reform it, and that getting out o the subsidy trap was the only sane way to go..
Tinubu said, “President Buhari has with this decision put an abrupt and just end to the assault against our economy and political system. He has made a courageous and prudent decision. It is time to end fuel subsidy and begin to subsidise the true needs of the people.
“To Mr. President, I say congratulations for having the courage to remove subsidy. The president has taken this tough decision in the interest of the present and future generations of Nigerians. For some time, I have been a proponent of this action. I believed the ending of subsidy was the only sure way to put to sleep the myriad demons that had invaded the subsidy process, sucking the blood of Nigeria, swallowing much of our needed money.
“The rentiers will no longer be able to make free money at our common expense. They will no longer be laughing to the bank while you languish on endless fuel queues. Nigeria has taken the historic step needed to create a competitive environment that that will eliminate smuggling, provide incentives for private refineries and attract foreign investments in the downstream sector and create employment.”‘
See the full text of Tinubu reaction to the subsidy removal in the Opinion column of the The Rainbow