According to the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), the gasoline subsidy regime is not a viable arrangement for the country’s economy.
Members of the forum voiced their support for President Bola Tinubu’s stance on the matter at a briefing held in Abuja on Friday.
Following a meeting with the President, Imo’s governor, Hope Uzodinma, told State House reporters that the administration’s choice to eliminate gasoline subsidies resulted from inherited heritage.
He said that the withdrawal of subsidies was long and that Nigerians should discuss viable solutions that would benefit every citizen.
“First of all, the removal of the fuel subsidy was a promise made to Nigerians by presidential candidates throughout their campaigns. It is not a novel concept.
“The President just stated that there is no funding for subsidies in the 2023 budget starting in June, and that is the case.
“The removal of fuel subsidy was what we had decided as members of the economic team during the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he stated.
According to Uzodinma, the lengthy history of oil deregulation calls for patriotic duty to be resolved once and for all.
“One could question why there was such haste to raise pump prices right away. I don’t believe anyone has imported petrol since May 29. The merchandise being sold is currently outdated. We must do more to protect our brothers. Without embracing global practices, we will never be able to match the achievements of other countries that we admire. To preserve a free, just, and competitive economy, the public and private sectors must work together, he added.
The governor said the fundamental problem is that not enough Nigerians are taking advantage of the government’s subsidy program as promised.
“I’m certain that few Nigerians are aware of the true problem with oil subsidies and those who profit from them. The reality is that no country can advance through unsound economic practices like oil subsidies. A responsible administration must take a comprehensive approach and decide what is best for the people, he added.
Uzodinma stated that the federal government was developing methods to mitigate the effects of the loss of the subsidy.
Remember that the President is a man of the people, he said. In Lagos State, he was the first governor to raise wages for employees. We are confident he will act similarly this time.