Monday 23rd January, 2017
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Remove fuel subsidy now, Tinubu tells Buhari

Remove fuel subsidy now, Tinubu tells Buhari

Former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Con­gress (APC), Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has joined the league of Nigerians and organisations push­ing for the immediate removal of fuel subsidy.
Shockingly, Tinubu, who ve­hemently fought against the re­moval of oil subsidy during the administration of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday asked President Muham­madu Buhari to do away with the policy for the country to move forward.
Only last week, the World Bank had told Buhari that the “most appropriate time to remove the subsidy is now.”
Buhari has repeatedly declared that he would retain the subsidy because its removal would hurt more Nigerians.
But Tinubu argued that the subsidy regime needs to go be­cause ordinary Nigerians no long­er benefit from it.
In his keynote address, enti­tled “Towards the economic lib­eration of Nigeria: Bala Usman’s enduring relevance” at the memo­rial conference organised in hon­our of the late Dr. Bala Usman by the Centre for Democratic De­velopment, Research and Train­ing, Zaria in Kaduna, Tinubu said his call for “subsidy removal is not mere talk but a call to action by those in authority.”
Tinubu continued: “In a per­fect world, I wish we could sani­tise the subsidy regime and thus continue with it. However, I have reached the conclusion that there are too many demons in the sys­tem for that hell to be turned into heaven.
“It is better that we remove it, not for the austere purpose of sav­ing money but to use the money more wisely to serve the people better. 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,” he said, insist­ing that, “What I have said here is more than mere talk. It is a call to action.”
In his welcome address, Kadu­na State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai extolled the late histori­an Bala Usman, saying “he cared about ordinary people and spent his life fighting for the common man.”
The event was attended by Lagos State Governor Akinwumi Ambode, his Katsina counterpart Aminu Bello Masari, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi.

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