Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has appealed to Nigerians to take the difficulties that might arise as a result of the new pump price of fuel as a sacrifice for a better future.
In a statement issued by his media office, the two-term governor of Lagos state, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking “a bold step”, telling Nigerians that “this pain is necessary”.
He said the new development will clear the rot in the petroleum sector, 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,” the statement read.
“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.”
Tinubu said allowing the situation to remain the same would have translated to a breach of the agreement which the ruling party had with Nigerians in the electioneering period.
He confessed that even though he would have ordinarily preferred that the sector was sanitised and not totally liberalised, he believed that the current government took a decision that serves the people best.
“This administration entered office with a mandate of CHANGE. The government could not forever sit back and allow this dire inequity to continue less 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.”