3rd June, 2023
The 2023 governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party in Ogun, Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo has expressed concern over the hardship foisted on Nigerians by the fuel subsidy removal.
He however appealed for calm, expressing optimism that the issue would be resolved.
Speaking on Friday, Ajadi said it was a mark of insensitivity of government allowing Nigerians suffer over pricing of a commodity that God has freely given them.
Ajadi said; “I feel the pains of all Nigerians in this tough time, the policy has made life difficult for many but there seems to be no going back. I, therefore, call for calm and patience.
“Things are tough but we must not give up until new Nigeria is formed.”
He said that he has done his research and the subsidy removal could actually be a good policy if well implemented.
He noted that Nigeria could no longer continue “organised crime” in the name of fuel subsidy.
The NNPP chieftain said: “According to the World Bank, subsidy payments could significantly impact public finance and pose debt sustainability concerns in Nigeria. Nigeria’s economy depends on petroleum, accounting for 90 percent of its exports and one-third of its GDP. However, the petroleum industry recently recorded zero revenue.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company released a report in October 2022 that revealed that the agency recorded zero revenue from oil export due to the subsidy payment. Petrol subsidy alone for October 2022 gulped ₦199 billion. Nigeria incurs too much cost to pay fuel subsidies. There is a need to consider removing the fuel subsidy to fund other sectors of the economy.
“In Nigeria’s 2023 budget, the federal government (FG) allocated ₦3.6 trillion to pay for fuel subsidies for the first half of 2023. This figure shows a huge gap compared to the allocated ₦443 billion subsidy payment for January to June 2022. The FG can utilize the enormous budget allocated to fuel subsidies to fund other strategic sectors.”
Ajadi, however, urged President Bola Tinubu-led federal government to ensure money saved from subsidy is effectively utilized.
“Like I had stated, the removal of subsidy will only be a good policy if Nigerians can see good infrastructure, constant electricity and other good things.
“President Bola Tinubu must ensure that Nigerians do not suffer the consequences of subsidy removal in vain.
“Money saved from subsidy must be well spent. I also demand accountability and transparency.”
Ajadi also advocated for reduction in the cost of governance.
“The money spent to run government is too high. We must also cut down the cost of running government. This is the way forward,” he added.