Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, weighed in on the deregulation of the oil sector and said the move to end subsidy was a painful but inevitable decision.
In a statement from his media office, yesterday, Tinubu reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to end subsidy was “an act of courage.”
He urged Nigerians to bear with the Buhari administration in turning around the country’s fortunes as Nigeria could no longer live in denial. “Understandably, the new pricing decision elicited mixed reactions from a cross section of Nigerians. This is understandable in view of the fact that the fuel subsidy had been with us for such a long period that it seemed integral to our political and economic life.
However, we should not lament the departure of something just because of its longevity particularly when that very policy had ceased to serve us long ago. The decision to end the subsidy was hard but it was also inevitable. It had distorted into a system where wrongdoers benefited at the expense of the innocent.
“The bogus supplier was paid for supplying nothing while you sweated in long lines for fuel that was never there. The smuggler secreted fuel across the border while our economy crossed the border into fuel scarcity… While the price of fuel was cheap in paper, these were the hidden costs that made the subsidy regime an expensive and heavy yoke the nation could ill continue.
“With dwindling revenue from oil, due to the slump in global oil prices and a dwindling forex reserve, the country could no longer live in denial.
“President Buhari, after carefully weighing the options, decided to do what is right.
“In an act of courage, he removed the oil subsidy thereby freeing the downstream component of this strategic sector of the economy from the distortions of price fixing…” he said.