Imo monarch backs Tinubu on subsidy removal
The traditional ruler of Isiama, and the Chairman, Imo State College of Education Governing Council, Ihitte Uboma, Eze Oliver Ohanweh, has backed President Bola Tinubu’s decision on fuel subsidy removal, saying that it was the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria.
The monarch made this known at the weekend in Owerri, Imo state capital, saying that the removal of subsidy completely has to stay, calling on the administration of Bola Tinubu to devise a measure to address the pains of the masses.
While noting that Nigeria cannot afford to be enriching international communities and oil industries while its citizens are facing hardship, Eze Ohanweh explained that previous administrations had used the oil subsidy, mounting debt profile and servicing of over 10 billion dollars in debt as excuses for the most abandoned projects that would have positively impacted the masses.
“Now that they have removed the subsidy, let things change for good.” Ohanweh said.
He added, “So, the best thing that has happened to us is the removal of the petrol subsidy. I think President Tinubu should be commended for that. Nigeria gives crude free, the marketers take it outside the country to refine, gets three products from it and Nigeria goes to buy it the same product, no nation can survive on such arrangement,” he said.
“The removal of subsidy completely has to stay, but let the administration of Bola Tinubu factor a way to address the pains of the masses.
“This can come in the form of mass transit, improved railway system and network across the country, liberalisation of the oil industry, licence of more oil marketers to import the product to break the monopoly and encourage competition to allow the market forces to determine prices.”
While advising that Nigeria should forget to repair the existing refineries as they are obsolete and cannot make 50 per cent production, the traditional ruler lamented that Nigeria did not take the advice of oil experts to build new refineries about 22 years ago when he was mandated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to go overseas to do a technical audit on Nigeria’s refineries.
According to the monarch, “About 22 years ago, the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo sent me to the United States of America and the report I got from the technical audit carried out by experts of refineries from Texas is that our refineries cannot make 50 per cent production and the report also added that Nigeria should forget our existing refineries and build new ones.
“If we had followed that advice we would have solved the problems we are facing today in the sector, yet today we budget billions of dollars to refurbish these outdated refineries.”