Subsidy removal: I would have provided various relief policies, says Obi
The Labour Party (LP) candidate during the presidential election of February 25, Peter Obi, says he would have provided various relief policies for Nigerians after removing the subsidy on fuel.
Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) during his inauguration at the Eagle Square in Abuja on May 29 announced the removal of subsidy payment on Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol.
Ever since then, the price of the commodity has increased by as much as 200 per cent in some parts of the country which has led to an astronomical increase in transportation fares across Nigeria.
Obi while speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday insisted that fuel subsidy should be removed because it is an “organised crime” but not without “relieving policies” in place for Nigerians.
“I have actually been in support of the removal of subsidies right from the President Goodluck Jonathan era when I was a member of the Economic Management team,” he said.
“If you have followed me very well right from the time I was a member of Jonathan’s economic management team, I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as organized crime.
“People were just stealing the resources of the country and I showed it empirically in my statistical analysis that we were not consuming the amount of fuel they claimed we consumed.”
The former Anambra state governor differentiated his idea of subsidy removal from what the country is currently witnessing, giving an illustration of a person having a toothache.
“If you approach a dentist to remove a painful tooth, he will apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain.
“It’s not the same thing as pulling the tooth forcefully; the pain you feel will be different,” Obi clarified.
“For me, I will go with the approach of the dentist, while supporting the removal of the tooth because I wouldn’t want to go through the pain of a forceful removal.
“I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are going to save, and what we are going to do using the savings to better the suffering masses.”
According to Obi, the problem in Nigeria is that the often government tell the masses to suffer and sacrifice for a better future but in future, things get worse.
Many Nigerians had expected that the new price regime would come into effect by July 1 but a litre of petrol is already being sold at over N500 across the country.