Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu acknowledged the hardships of the fuel subsidy removal on the lives of Nigerians on Monday.
Tinubu disclosed this in his Democracy Day speech on Monday, commemorating 30 years since the events of June 12, 1993, involving MKO Abiola and the Military Government.
Tinubu noted that he feels the pains of Nigerians, but the removal of fuel subsidies is a decision Nigerians must bear.
President Tinubu urged that democracy that will yield the right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and the right to get people into elective offices, adding:
“It means social and economic justice for our people. To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty.
“Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty.
“It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.”
Subsidy removal and Burdens
He noted that the approach towards eliminating poverty necessitated his inauguration address on May 29, to the decision taken by his predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich, adding:
“I admit that the decision will impose an extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.”
He urged that Nigerians must sacrifice a little more for the survival of the nation, as they endure economic pains and burdens, adding:
“ Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain.
“The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.
“On my part and that of my administration, I pledge anew our commitment to diligently fulfilling every component of our electoral pact with the people – the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.
He added his administration will remain faithful to truth, Faithful to equity, and faithful to justice.
“We shall exercise our authority and mandate to govern with fairness, respect for the rule of law, and commitment to always uphold the dignity of all our people.”
What you should know
President Tinubu on May 29 while delivering his inaugural speech, said the Federal Government could no longer sustain fuel subsidies.
With the removal of fuel subsidy, the petroleum pump price is now fixed at N540 per litre as against N195, a development the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it was opposing and is currently in negotiations with the government over increased minimum wages to handle the costs of the subsidy removal.