A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Senator Ayo Arise, has said President Bola Tinubu has not disappointed many Nigerians with the removal of fuel subsidy.
Arise, who represented Ekiti North Senatorial District at the National Assembly between 2007 and 2011, stated that President Tinubu had taken the right decision by removing the subsidy, which he said was long overdue.
The former federal lawmaker spoke with newsmen in Ado Ekiti after the funeral service for the late former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi.
He described Egbeyemi as a perfect gentleman and a father by all definitions whom they all looked up to in politics.
Speaking further on the fuel subsidy removal, Arise added, “He has done extremely well. If he had waited one day, the move may not have been allowed to see the light of day, and the poor masses will continue to suffer in Nigeria.
“You will notice that there was fuel scarcity for a period, the moment everybody started selling the commodity between N500 and N550, the product is readily available in all filling stations to motorists and other consumers to buy. I believe it is a fantastic solution.We can never talk about the perfect time. These people will always and continue to negotiate”.
Declaring that the country is being shortchanged through the fuel subsidy, he said, “Those people taking the fuel subsidy are defrauding Nigerians. Some ships will be loaded midway and disappear thereafter and they will bring papers to collect money, and the poor people continue to suffer so much that more than a trillion of our money is being allocated to pay subsidy of fuel.
“And we don’t have good roads, pipe borne water in many places, electricity is so epileptic, so where do we have this money to continue to give these few people? Money that belongs to the commonwealth. When they get the money, they live larger than life and the poor masses are suffering. So I support that decision to remove the petrol subsidy. It was very timely and Nigeria will be good for it. In about 6 or 7 months, we will start praising the president that he has done extremely well”.
While advising Nigerians on the federal government action, Arise said, “I will say, we have to endure. Every good thing requires some little sacrifice here and there. Many people do not understand it, they only see that they were paying N100 for transportation before, but it is now N200. The truth of the matter is that we were paying artificial N100. Every time we move one inch on that fuel subsidy, if we say the federal government is negotiating with labour tomorrow, and we are moving fuel prices to say N250, they may drag it still to N200, everything will just go crazy, and we will still have to wait for another day to negotiate and the money for the petrol subsidy never reduces, it keeps going up.
“Let use the subsidy to build schools for the children of the poor people, to build hospitals, part of it should be used to develop agriculture sector, then Nigeria will be better in every measure”.
On whether the president has an understanding of the situation Nigeria is in, he said, “If you look at our new president, Bola Tinubu, he is an accountant, so he understands the figures and he is a man that belongs to the masses as well. So, he knows its impacts on the masses, everything has been talked about. The best solution for the generality of our population is the removal of this fuel subsidy. Let these people go and start looking for money elsewhere and do some other works rather than be taking just this wealth from the government. I think the masses should endure to support the President and they will begin to see good things happening in this country”.