The All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed to Nigerians to endure the present hardship caused by the increase in the fuel pump price and electricity tariffs. In a statement issued yesterday by the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the party said Nigerians should look at the glory ahead for the removal of subsidy. According to the APC, the removal of subsidies would afford the government a chance to build infrastructure all over the country.
Nabena, in the statement said: “The All Progressives Congress (APC) is not oblivious of the financial strains brought by the increase in fuel pump price and electricity rates. WeurgeNigerianstoendurenowandenjoygainssoon. “The reviews are crucial and hard thought decisions by the government. On the positive side, the short and long-term benefits on the citizenry and our national life will become obvious and directly felt in critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and social services targeted at the poor.
“We point to shocking estimates by the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) which reports that the budget for fuel subsidies in 2019 was sufficient to enroll the entire population of Nigeria in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Further, fuel subsidies have taken over N10 trillion of our nationalresourcessince2006. “At least, the generality of Nigerians and stakeholders agree on a thousand and one reasons why fuel subsidy has become unsustainable.
The perceived benefits of fuelsubsidieshavelong been overtaken by the previous corruption and drain on scarce resourcesthatshouldbedirected toothercriticalsectors.” Explaining the gains of deregulation, Nabena said, “in line with the current ad- ministration’s deregulation drive and move to increase private-sector participation in the petroleum sector, the task before us now is to improve our local refining capacities which we are already on course to achieving and maintaining a competitive, market-driven, transparent and accountable petroleum pricing template whichmeetsglobalbestpractices, particularly in a developing country such as ours.
“While the government works assiduously to solve the country’s electricity challenges permanently, it realizes that many Nigerians and businesses still rely on alternative sources for power supply to meet electricity needs, hence its current focus on improving electricity and service delivery while also protecting poor and vulnerable Nigerians from arbitrary and estimated electricity billing.