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Why govt should totally deregulate fuel price, by Famutimi


Bintan Famutim

Bintan Famutim

Sends forth US envoys McCleary, Ghebreab
President of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Chief Bintan Famutimi has urged the Federal Government to totally deregulate the pump price of oil if it actually wants to end fuel shortage in the country.

“That is why we have been having fuel shortage, because of the control by the government. They have not done deregulation properly. They are still controlling the price of petrol. Once you say you remove subsidy, let the market dictate the price at which we buy fuel. Government can’t go on regulating the price,” he said.
Famutimi spoke in Lagos at the weekend, during a send off party he hosted on behalf of the Nigerian -American Chamber of Commerce for the Commercial Counselor, United States (US) Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Brian McCleary and the Public Affairs Officer of the US Consular General in Lagos, Mrs. Dehab Ghebreab,

According to him, “they can’t continue to sell fuel at the same price in Lagos, Calabar, Maiduguri and Sokoto, it is not done.” He added that once the foreigners have confidence in the market and in the institution, they would come to invest in the country.

On security, Famutimi said: “When people were asking the government to go and negotiate with Boko Haram, they were not helping us. If the system and the institutions cannot manage the security challenges and they have to bend the rules, you will then create a lot more of them who will be dictating to the government. So we will get there but it is a painful slow system.”

To Famutimi, the anti-graft move of the government is not biased as they have to deal with the cases that they know. “If there are people that are being unfairly prosecuted, targeted and no offence is committed, that is bad. They have to ask this government why they should do that. But if the people have committed offences, I don’t want to listen to somebody telling me that it is because they belong to a party.”

To end the menace of the herdsmen, he said the government must put in place the necessary rules to deal with it. “There is no place in the world where you have some people roaming all over the place with their cattle, destroying peoples farms and killing the owners. In doing that, you are not allowing the rule of law to reign.”

Famutimi noted that McCleary and Ghebreab have not only been close friends of his, but very supportive of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce throughout their tenure in the Consulate. “They have been passionate about Nigeria-America relationship. We would greatly miss them.”

Ghebreab described her experiences in Nigeria in the past three years and nine months as really wonderful.

“Nigerians are very warm and welcoming and supporting. We have built a lot of partnership in many areas especially with young people. One challenge that I have faced in working here is probably transportation and the traffic congestion.”

“McCleary said he was very passionate about Nigeria. “I am very passionate about Nigeria and bilateral trade and about investment. My responsibility is to promote US trade with Nigeria in a wide range sector. So I am excited about the future and I think it is a very promising one.”

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