President Bola Tinubu has shed more light on his decision to remove fuel subsidy immediately after his government assumed power.
It would be recalled Tinubu had during his inauguration speech on May 29, announced that fuel subsidy is gone, sparking mixed reactions from Nigerians
However, speaking on Friday when he played host to traditional rulers in the country under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), President Tinubu explained that the fuel subsidy regime had become unsustainable as it was being used to feed smugglers and be Father Christmas to neighbouring countries.
He added that fuel subsidy had become an Elephant which was going to bring the country to its knees if it was not removed.
The President’s submission was contained in a statement by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye.
“I am grateful you are paying attention to what I have been doing. You have paid attention to the subsidy removal. Why should we, in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be Father Christmas to neighbouring countries, even though they say not every day is Christmas?
“The elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees is the subsidy. A country that cannot pay salaries, and we say we have the potential to encourage ourselves. I think we did the right thing,” he said.
While acknowledging concerns about the need for critical infrastructure in different parts of the country, President Tinubu pledged that any roadblock in the way of the progress of the Nigerian people would be removed by his government.
“The lamentations about the capital projects—where will the money come from if we don’t protect our resources and boundaries? You cannot have development without capital projects,” he added.
President Tinubu also according to the statement, assured the traditional rulers of an open-door policy and his readiness to accept ideas and suggestions on how to move the country forward.
“We are all ears. We are ready to listen at any given time. I promise you an open-door policy; that is how I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send me any concerns you might have at any time.
“We may not have it right 100 per cent of the time, but we must get it right 90 per cent of the time for this country,” he said.
The Country Is In Good Hands
Responding to issues raised by the traditional rulers on challenges facing the country, the President assured them, saying, “worry not because the country is in good hands.”
He added that his administration is very conscious of the expectations of Nigerians and urged the traditional rulers to persuade the people on the good intentions of his government, assuring that fuel prices would still come down.
10th National Assembly Leadership
President Tinubu declared that he is ready to work with any leader the lawmakers of the 10th national assembly choose, stressing that the Nigeria project is paramount to him.
“Nigeria must survive. Nigeria must develop. Nigeria must make progress,” he said.
Security And Youth Employment
On security, the President reiterated his pledge to Nigerians to prioritize the sector until every Nigerian “goes to sleep with their two eyes closed.”
He emphasized that the unity and togetherness of the country cannot be compromised, saying that jobs would be created for the youths of the country.
“We are going to tackle youth unemployment. Only when we have prosperity for the country can we create jobs to employ our youths,” he said.
Sabotage In Niger Delta
The statement further quoted President Tinubu to have promised during the meeting that the sabotage of the nation’s oil resources in the Niger Delta would be tackled. He condemned crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region by a ‘tiny percentage’ of the population, saying it was counterproductive to the economy’s growth.
“We need to tame those involved in this sabotage, and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that the diversity of this country is used for its prosperity, growth and stability.”
“That’s devolution of power, and that should be our contribution to the developmental projects you are looking for, and we will continue in ways that will help our people,” he said.
In separate remarks, the Chairman and Co-Chairman of NCTRN, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saad Abubakar, and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, pledged the support and loyalty of all the traditional to President Tinubu.
They pledged to work with him to fulfil his Renewed Hope agenda.