• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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FG again seeks total removal of fuel subsidy


The Federal Government on Tuesday solicited support for total removal of fuel subsidy.

Labaran Maku, minister of information, who gave the hint during an interactive session with Marthin Luther Agwai, chairman, Presidential Committee on Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Project (SURE-P), argued that the subsidy policy endangers the nation’s economy.

Labaran Maku

“The mere fact that today we remain a crude oil exporting country is a wrong policy. Why should countries that are not producing oil sell finished products to the rest of the world? If there is money in crude oil, it will not be called crude.

“The money is in refined oil, in refined products. The crude oil is a raw material and until you create a condition in your country that you can refine these products and sell them three, four, five, six and ten times to us we would not be able to make sufficient money to build the nation,” he said.

While lauding the successes recorded through the partial removal of the fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan since 2012, the minister noted that the effects of the partial removal are now being felt across the country.

The minister, who argued that the nation stands to gain a lot when the subsidy is completely removed, maintained that private companies would be encouraged to refine crude oil as well build petrochemical factories.

He added that other aspects of the economy like education and health would be subsidised and made cheap once the nation starts earning more money from the complete reformation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

“Today, if we take a look at what has happened in the country in the last two years of implementation of SURE-P at the federal level we can see that through re-investment of money that accrues with partial withdrawal of subsidy we are now having better roads.

“Whether anybody likes it or not, the roads we met in 2011 are not the roads we are operating now and I have been round the country on National Good Governance Tour and I have seen the kind of job this committee has done for this country. All the artery roads are looking better because of the intervention of SURE-P. Benin-Ore Road, Abuja-Lokoja Road, Jigawa-Kano Express road.

“All the major roads are looking good because SURE-P is giving money to Ministry of Works to intervene on roads. Now, if you keep this going for another five years, you will see that the roads will change completely. Economy will boom, the movement of goods and services will improve. We are pleased with the vision of Mr. President in setting up SURE-P for money to be transparently used and to go directly to areas that have impact on the citizens.”