A public policy analyst, Dr Joe Abah, has commended President Bola Tinubu for explaining to Nigerians why he needed to implement the removal of fuel subsidy.
Tinubu had announced the start of the policy on the day of his inauguration as Nigeria’s 14th president.
The policy immediately increased petrol pump prices and other economic activities, including transportation.
On Monday, July 31, Tinubu addressed Nigerians on national TV, explaining why he sanctioned the move.
“For several years, I have consistently maintained the position that the fuel subsidy had to go. This once beneficial measure had outlived its usefulness. The subsidy cost us trillions of Naira yearly.
“Such a vast sum of money would have been better spent on public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing and even national security.
“Instead, it was being funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals,” Tinubu told Nigerians as labour unions prepare for a nationwide strike.
Dr Abah said the president’s decision to explain to ordinary citizens is commendable.
He wrote on Twitter:
“It is good that he came out to explain the reasons behind the policy measures. It is good that he chose to talk in simple terms without economic jargon.
“I agree with the removal of fuel subsidy, although I am not opposed to subsidy per se. It could have been possible to tackle the fraud in the system and to ensure that only the poor benefit.
“This will rely on a credible and comprehensive database of the poor, with full knowledge of each Nigerian’s income. Because since that cannot happen overnight, it is better to first stop the country from bleeding $16 billion every year on subsidy that we cannot afford.”
He also stated that the preceding administration could have acted sooner.