National leader of All Progressives Congress, (APC), and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday described the powers controlling petroleum products subsidies in the country as demons that must be stopped
In his address titled, “Towards the economic liberation of Nigeria, Bala Usman’s enduring relevance” delivered at the memorial conference organised in honour of the Late Dr. Bala Usman by the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training, Zaria, the former governor said his call for subsidy removal was not mere talk but a call to action for those in authority.
According to him, there are too many demons in the system which need to be removed, if the Government is to meet with her election promises to the masses.
He described his speech as ” more than talk”
The APC National leader said, “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 happening, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest, and 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.
“In a perfect world, I wish we could sanitise 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. This way we can undertake this massive expenditure confident that the fruits will go to the hungry, not the already over-fed. End the fuel subsidy. Subsidise the people instead. Subsidise the people instead!” he insisted.
“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.”
While extolling the virtue of the late historian, Tinubu noted that with all his royalty, he chose to align with the poor masses.
He said, “Bala could have combined his royal lineage with his academic erudition to enjoy the high and easy life.
“He could have been part of any government or ruling clique that suckled itself on toil, blood and patience of the people. Bala chose to side with the masses. Now it is our duty to side with him.”