…As Tinubu directs NEC to work on palliatives
…Subsidy removal will open up resources for economic devt — Gov. Abiodun
…Marketers to donate 100 CNG mass transit buses
By Ibiyemi Mathew & Moses Adeniyi
State Governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) have indicated their interest to work with the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy.
The State Governors led by the Chairman of the NGF, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, expressed joy with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership and statesmanship.
They congratulated President Tinubu for tackling the fuel subsidy behemoth, promising to work with him to ameliorate the short-term impact of the decision.
Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun in a separate meeting with the President alongside some oil marketers said that the removal of fuel subsidy was a bold step and a clear indication of Tinubu’s readiness to address the challenges of the oil and gas sector.
“Subsidy has become a N4 trillion per annum issue and its removal will release more funds for economic development.
“Subsidy removal will unleash the potential of Nigeria because it will open up a lot of resources for the development of other sectors of the economy.
“The National Economic Council will soon begin sitting to propose interventions on the subsidy removal.
“The interventions will definitely be a long-lasting solution to the effect of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians,” Abiodun said.
President Tinubu had earlier called on the Governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country, saying the level of impoverishment was unacceptable.
The President advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people.
“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary, it is from the society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation-building,’’ he said.
President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.
“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering on results,’’ he said, adding that good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.
“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations who are over a hundred years in democracy.
“We have managed ourselves very well to have a democracy. We have campaigned and arrived at our present destination. We must work for our people,’’ President Tinubu told the Governors, while assuring them that he would maintain an open-door policy.
The President said he is prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.
“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room, before the nation sinks.
“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanise the economy, and put resources in place. We must think and perform.
“After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,” he noted.
President Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury.
“How do we address the unacceptable level of poverty? How much are we investing in education, which is the only tool against poverty? I am ready to collaborate with you.”
The President also drew attention to the security problems in some states, admonishing the Governors that all efforts should be put in place to tackle the security situation, without thinking it’s only for those facing it.
Marketers donate 100 CNG mass transit buses
Meanwhile, petroleum marketers on Wednesday pledged to support the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy by donating between 50 to 100 mass transit buses.
This was revealed by the association’s Chairperson, Dame Winifred Akpani, after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.
Akpani said the buses would be locally manufactured and would use Compressed Natural Gas as fuel.
“We pledge our support for President Tinubu in the bold decision of removing petrol subsidy. It is an idea that was long overdue.
“Removal of subsidy is not about making fuel costly and taking it out of the reach of Nigerians. It is about getting it right on the real issue of petroleum product subsidy.
“Who are those enjoying the subsidy? The subsidy ends up being enjoyed by those it was not meant for. We also spoke to the President about substitutes to petrol as well as creating an environment conducive for investments to thrive in the oil sector,” she said.