The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Friday, begged Nigerians to bear with the Federal Government over the removal of fuel subsidy.
Speaking with newsmen at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Chief Oyegun said that “I invited you because of the fundamental announcement made within the last 24 hours because I wanted to join my voice to that of the minister to appeal to the Nigerian public to the unions and the other civil society groups for understanding of the situation that has led to the partial deregulation of fuel prices.”
According to him, “Nigerians have a right to subsidy of natural resources that the good Lord has endowed us with but the subsidy regime has become so intensely manipulated, so abused that it really was no longer operating in the interest of the Nigerian public.”
“I think that it has become very clear that the kind of queues that have become endemic over several regimes which is a clear indication that something has gone seriously wrong with the subsidy regime.
“Those who were already privileged were exploiting it to amass even more wealth meanwhile the people for whom it was basically meant has to bear the cost in higher transport fares because each time these queues develop of course the ordinary Nigerian bears the cost, while the importers and manipulators of the system are the ones that make all the money.
“You are in fact having the middle class of this nation queuing at the petrol stations for long hours to buy fuel at cost N200 a litre. A situation like this is reverberating to the detriment of the same people government whose welfare government has sworn to protect and promote.
“What the new regime is therefore doing is to ensure availability. It is now clear that not having fuel at all and preventing this indecent overnight queues at petrol stations has become soothing that is no longer desirable more so as the fuel when you get it is already over priced”, he stated.
He however added that, “It is unfortunate, it is painful what has happened, it will increase cost in all directions, no doubt about that. But in the medium term, three months whatever, with competition, I foresee also that the prizes will come crashing down when there is availability.
“NNPC will continue to be in the field anyway either through the refineries, to allow the pipeline to continue to function. Through importation, they will continue to be a player in the fuel supply market. Prices are bound to come down.
“Let me recall what happened when mobile phones came into the country. I remember buying a sim card for over N30, 000. Today it is virtually free. If we free the fuel market, that likely result of competition is likely to become operational”, he stated