A political pressure group based in the north, Arewa New Agenda (ANA) yesterday threw its weight behind the recent policy proclamation by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, which declared an end to the subsidy regime in Nigeria.
Presenting a communique after a two-day Policy Dialogue on the Fuel Subsidy removal, the National Convener of the group, senator Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi, said though the Policy may have its economic challenges, the end will benefit Nigerians.
The Convener said Arewa New Agenda recognizes the pain occasioned by the increase in pump price of petroleum products; but the removal will prevent the diversion and smuggling of gasoline outside the country’s borders which bleeds our economy.
“Government must stay on course with its current action; must not give in to blackmail nor capitulate under threat.
It is the considered position of the policy dialogues as convened by ANA that under the DSDP, imported petrol belongs to the NNPCL since it (NNPCL) has supplied crude oil to the marketers in exchange for petrol but the marketers usually keep the imported fuel to themselves and sell it to the independent marketers at arbitrary price.
“The removal of subsidy on PMS will among other things: Solve the problem of perennial hardship and the attendant hardship on citizens. It will put a stop to corruption around the subsidy regime which has made some individuals stupendously rich without industry.
“It will free-up the humongous amount paid out as subsidy for enhance growth in critical sectors of national development Reduce Gasoline Smuggling and Diversion. The removal of fuel subsidy eliminates the unhealthy price arbitrage with neighboring countries”, the group said.
While noting that this critical economic activity will require all hands to be on deck for the prosperity of Nigeria, senator MoAllahyidi said salaries and wages of workers in Nigeria is nothing to write home about and needs to be realistically reviewed.
“Dialogue with organized labor must be intensified; we caution labor not to politicize this genuine economic policy activity at this very early stage of the Tinubu administration.
“That vulnerable groups in Nigeria feel the impact of subsidy removal more and they should be first line of consideration in provision of palliatives.
“That dialogue attendees support the decision of President Tinubu on the removal of subsidy and will do everything possible to help actualize the desire for improved life of the ordinary citizens Recommendation/Suggestions”, the group said.