Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Wednesday, described fuel subsidy as a scam, saying its removal by President Bola Tinubu would improve the lives of all Nigerians.
Abiodun, who was the chairman of the Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, stated this while speaking with newsmen shortly after a two-Rakat prayer to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir at Lantoro prayer ground in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Governor Abiodun, who was represented by Senator Shuaib Afolabi Salis (Ogun Central), said with the removal of the subsidy, more funds would be available to the Federal Government to address the needs of Nigerians.
He urged Nigerians to be patient over the removal of fuel subsidy, saying the hardship being experienced is temporary.
The governor argued that fuel subsidy had to be removed for Nigeria’s economy to survive “because Nigerians were not benefiting from it”, adding that the corruption in the fuel subsidy regime cost Nigeria a huge amount of revenue.
Abiodun said, “I want to assure Nigerians that the current administration — both at the state and national — would significantly improve the lot of Nigerians. When leadership is provided, the challenges of Nigeria are not unsurmountable. There is nothing that can be achieved without some pain.
“The issue of fuel subsidy, you could see, for instance, that smuggling has gone down. Because fuel subsidy is not being enjoyed by Nigerians, more money will be now in the pocket of the Federal Government in order to be able to take care of the masses.
“An example I will give to you is that you will notice that NNPC was supposed to be remitting money into the federation account for the tiers of government to be shared as federal allocation, but because of the scam called fuel subsidy, not only was the NNPC failing to remit, it was also telling the Federal Government that the nation is indebted to it (NNPC).
“Every good thing will come with some little pain, but what is important is that you could see a clear direction that Bola Tinubu is providing the leadership as President, and by providing that leadership, every other thing will fall into place. There is no better time to make those difficult but very necessary decisions. In another six months, one year we will begin to see the benefits.”
Regarding the exchange rate, Abiodun also alleged that a lot of people were benefitting from the brokerage.
“You see also the issue of the unification of the exchange rate, a number of people are benefitting from unnecessary brokerage, they buy the dollar at N400 or N420 and they go and sell it in the open market, average Nigerian was not benefitting from that,” he said.
The chief Imam, Saad Bamgbola, who led the prayer session, used the occasion to admonish the faithful of their obligations to their God, urging them to continue to shun all those acts that could bring the religion into disrepute.
State Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who joined the Muslim faithful at the Ota Muslim Community prayer Ground, Akeja, Ota, urged them to reflect on the tenets of Islam and embrace the teachings of Eid El Kabir as they celebrate in moderation.