Former Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, has backed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy, saying previous administrations lacked the political will to implement its removal.
He stated that the removal of the subsidy was long overdue.
Yuguda regretted that discussions held in the past on fuel subsidy removal by previous administrators were just a ‘talk show’ and a ‘motion without a movement.’
The former minister of state for transport, made known his stance when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, monitored by DAILY POST on Monday.
According to him, he was privileged to serve as the chairman of a subcommittee between 2008 and 2009 during the economic meltdown period, and he chaired the committee on subsidy where everything about the scam from the initiative was discovered.
This is as he alleged that the fuel subsidy has mostly been a scam run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) in conjunction with marketers and other stakeholders in the oil sector.
He lamented that the perpetrators of the subsidy scam had made so much money from Nigeria, and had brought the nation into its current financial mess.
He said, “I remember a friend of mine in the oil industry, who during a meeting of an economic think tank. He called the then president aside and said, ‘Mr President please stop this subsidy, we are tired of making money’”.
Yuguda, however, did not name the friend or the president involved.
In his words, “I co-chaired the committee on fuel subsidy, which has the president as the chairman and everything about the subsidy regime and scam was discovered under my committee since then. Recommendations were made, but unfortunately, they were never implemented and it’s very sad.
“I’m sad to let Nigerians know that from what I saw, we came across situations where subsidies were claimed on pipelines that never existed. Those behind the subsidy scam will just claim that they pump excessive amounts of crude oil from Warri to Kaduna and just fill out papers and invoices and claim subsidy on it.
“In fact, there was an instance of a pipeline that was supposed to exist between Lagos and Warri, and tons and tons of money were collected on subsidies for the pipeline that never existed. This is Nigeria for you.
“We submitted a report and attempts were made to remove it but I’m telling you, it can be very frustrating to implement policies, especially when there is interest from cabals. That’s what is leading us to where we are today.
“The subsidy regime should have gone way back in 2012 and 2013, but the previous government didn’t have the political will to remove it.”