President Bola Tinubu on Monday sympathised with Nigerians over the pains of the recent subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.
In his 2023 Democracy Day speech on June 12, the President said his decision to remove fuel subsidy during his inauguration on May 29, 2023 is to save Nigeria country from going under and take the country’s resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.
He asked Nigerians to sacrifice a little more for the survival of the country.
Democracy Day is celebrated yearly on June 12 in honour of the winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and other heroes of democracy.
Addressing Nigerians on Monday, Tinubu said, “The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices. It means social and economic justice for our people.
“To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he (MKO Abiola) christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought-out social and economic policies.
“It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich.
“I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.
“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.”
From N184/Litre To Over N500
The President during his inaugural speech on May 29 at the Eagle Square in Abuja had announced the removal of subsidy payment on petrol. The President said that the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari did not make provisions for subsidy in the 2023 budget beyond June.
Many Nigerians had expected that the new price regime would come into effect by July 1 but almost immediately after the presidential pronouncement, queues resurfaced at filling stations across the country even as retail outlets hoard the product and increase prices.
Already, a litre of petrol is being sold at over N500 across the country following the price adjustment by the Nigerian National Petrol Company (NNPC) Limited and the presidential pronouncement on subsidy removal.
Fuel queues have since surged for the vital commodity, compounding the traffic situation in parts of the country, even as transportation costs skyrocket to more than 100% increment.
The Organised Labour had resolved to embark on a nationwide strike beginning Wednesday but was restrained by a court order of Monday, June 5, 2023. The Organised Labour subsequently shelved its planned strike after a meeting with the Federal Government last week.