Subsidy: Be patient with Tinubu, APC-USA urges Nigerians
The United States chapter of the All Progressives Congress has called on Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu following the outrage that trailed the new pump price of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, after the removal of subsidy.
The appeal is coming in the wake of a threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress to embark on a nationwide strike on Wednesday.
The NLC specifically cautioned that it would not go back on its decision to down tool if the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited fail to reverse the increase of the price of PMS to N184 per litre.
In response, the Federal Government has said it is considering an increase in the national minimum wage to reflect the current economic realities in the country.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman of APC-USA, Prof Tai Balofin, and his United Kingdom counterpart, Tunde Doherty, appealed to Nigerians to be patient as President Bola Tinubu works to stir the ship out of troubled water.
The two APC stalwarts appealed when they visit the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, at the secretariat.
Balofin stated that it was easier for people to believe those of them in the Diaspora cannot relate to the pains Nigerians are passing through at home.
The APC-USA chairman argued that people buy fuel for as much as $3.50 per gallon in America because the country does not pay any marketer for subsidy.
He said, “I trust that the president will put some measures in place to cushion the effect of subsidy so it doesn’t go overboard. It is only a matter of matter. In other countries, especially in the United States, the cost of fuel ranges from $3.50 per gallon when compared to what we buy in Nigeria. Again, the important thing is that if there is fuel, even if it is expensive, they are going to balance the equilibrium as soon as possible. But I trust President Tinubu is a strategic person who knows what to do and how to manage Nigerians and resources. I believe we will start enjoying the benefit any time soon.
“The expectation of the impact of the subsidy which we already know was the decision of the representatives of Nigerians who are represented in the House of Representatives and Senators. They have gone through the rudiments of the removal of subsidies. Therefore it is the responsibility of the congressmen to appeal to Nigerians about the impact of the removal.
Of course, we are going to get there and I know it will help Nigerians. I just want to plead with all Nigerians to be patient and have an understanding of the situation.”
Doherty corroborated the position of Balofin when he said the United Kingdom does not also pay subsidies on its petroleum products.
The APC-UK chairman described petrol subsidy as an ‘infectious enjoyment’ that has been allowed to thrive for too long in the country.
“We have to be very factual and truthful to Nigerians at the start of this regime. The subsidy has not helped us in any way. Rather it has become a kind of infectious enjoyment in Nigeria because the determinant of pricing is the marketers. Now that there is no subsidy, I agree that it might be very difficult for people at this time. But I can tell you that President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is in charge of the situation now. Within the next few months, he will cushion the effect of what Nigerians have suffered.
“For instance, where we came from in the United Kingdom and the United States, the prices are not equal because there is no subsidy anywhere. In the UK today, we have Costco Oil selling for £1.3 and we have Sabre (Oil and Gas) selling for £1.7. So it is a liberalised economy with petrol. We cannot continue to let Nigerians suffer. We have to start by telling Nigerians the truth about the oil subsidy. It doesn’t take us anywhere. It is just pretentiously put us in a future we cannot predict.
“There is no subsidy where we live in the Diaspora and we enjoy fuel. We have never experienced fuel scarcity. The time for us to enjoy that ‘Renewed Hope’ is here,” he said.