As the current scarcity of petrol continues to bite harder, former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu on Friday in Kaduna urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove the subsidy regime, saying it has over stayed its usefulness.
Tinubu, who is also the National leader of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), said for the country to move forward, the subsidy regime needs to go since the ordinary Nigerians are no longer benefiting from it.
Delivering a keynote address, entitled, "Towards the Economic Liberation of Nigeria, Bala Usman's Enduring Relevance” at the memorial Conference organized in honour of the Late Dr Bala Usman by the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training Zaria,
Tinubu said, his call for subsidy removal is not mere talk but a call to action by those in authority.
According to him; "In a perfect world, I wish we could sanitize the subsidy regime and thus continue it. However, I have reached the conclusion that there are too many demons in the system for that hell to be turned into heaven.
"Better that we remove it, not for the austere purpose of saving money but to use the money more wisely that we might better save the people. Let us begin a process of a thoughtful but decisive subsidy phase-out.
"While this is occurring, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest, most vulnerable among us. Programmes such as transportation subsidies, school feeding, improved basic medical care and coverage for the poor, and potable water projects are some of the things that can be done with the same funds.
"What I have said here is more than talk. It is a call to action. This way we will undertake this massive expenditure confident that the fruits will go to the hungry, not the already too well fed.
“End the fuel subsidy. Subsidize the people instead. Fuel subsidy was a good idea that has been perverted into its opposite. Created to aid the common man, it is now a device used by the crooked to produce a windfall for themselves."