A socio-political organisation, Social Rehabilitation Group (SRG) has urged Nigerians to remain calm in the face of hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, noting that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Convener/National Coordinator of the group, Dr. Marindoti Oludare, in a statement on Sunday, said the prevailing circumstances could be compared to the scenario of an intractable disease that cannot be fixed with a magic pill.
The Nigeria-born US-based medical doctor, who lauded President Bola Tinubu for announcing the fuel subsidy removal with dispatch, stated in a statement titled “Hold your nose Nigerians, breath of fresh air beckons”, that what Tinubu is carrying out is akin to a “necessary emergency surgical intervention”, for the Nigerian economy to rebound.
“Hence, a country with an intractable disease cannot be fixed with a magic pill. Sometimes emergency radical surgical procedures have to be carried out. The surgery will be gory but it is the only way to reach a state of health and let the body start to recover and grow.
“The necessary emergency radical surgical intervention is what President Tinubu is carrying out and I will want to implore Nigerians to be patient with him.
“A patient with a cancer will not tell their doctor to “please remove this cancer from my body but I want to feel no pain”. They know there will be pain, there will be blood loss, recovery will be difficult but they endure it all so they can be free of the invasive cancer,” Oludare appraised.
The medic also applauded the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, noting that with it, the prices of oil products would keep moving.
“Whenever the pump price goes up due to increase in price of crude oil, Nigeria also makes more money. This deregulation is the only thing that will attract investment into our oil industry. There’s no benefits in consuming cheap fuel that we can’t afford because it’s depriving us of funds we need for every other thing.
“Now that money is not being sequestered in the hands of a few oil marketers, we will have the funds to build our roads, ours hospitals, our schools which are essential in improving our quality of life. We need to stop subsidy first, then we can use what we save to do other things,” he enthused.
Oludare noted that an improved exchange rate would translate to a reduction in the price of fuel because crude is priced in dollar.
“So these two policies will work hand-in-hand. Deregulation will bring in foreign investment to the oil sector, while unification of rate will make foreign investment easy and attractive again.
“I know some people have said the President should have waited, they should have planned better, the palliatives should be in place first. My retort to them is: there is no sweet time to take a bitter pill.
“Nigeria was in a quagmire; the only way out is through the mud. You don’t stay in the mud and wait for the ground to be harder before you start walking. President Tinubu is pulling Nigeria out of the mud, so let’s hold our nose, a breath of fresh air beckons,” he summed.