The Progressive Governors’ Forum has declared its support for the Federal Government on the removal of fuel subsidy.
President Bola Tinubu had in his inaugural address on Monday ended the subsidy regime in the country.
The president’s announcement had since been met with protests by organized labour following the return of queues at filling stations and a hike in the price of petroleum products by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Friday declared a nationwide strike from Wednesday to protest the removal of the fuel subsidy.
The Chairman of the PGF, Hope Uzodinma, who addressed State House correspondents after a meeting between the governors and Tinubu commended the president for taking the bold decision to remove the fuel subsidy.
Other governors at the meeting were – Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Babagana Zulum (Borno), and Mai Mala Buni (Yobe).
The rest were – Uba Sani (Kaduna), Dikko Radda (Katsina), Father Hyacinth Alia (Benue), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Aliyu Ahmed (Sokoto), Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi) and Bassey Otu (Cross River)
Uzodinma, however, decried the sudden hike in petrol prices by marketers following the president’s inaugural speech.
He said the 2023 budget did not provide for subsidy payments beyond this month.
The governor insisted that the fuel subsidy regime was not a sustainable system for the nation’s economy.
He said: “Firstly, the decision about removing fuel subsidy was what presidential candidates promised Nigerians during their campaigns. It is not something new.
‘’What the president did was only to say there is no allocation for subsidy in the 2023 budget from June and that’s the reality.
“The removal of fuel subsidy was what we had decided as members of the economic team during the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“One may wonder why the rush in increasing in pump prices immediately. Since May 29, I don’t think anybody has imported fuel. What they are selling is still the old stock.
‘’We really need to be our brothers’ keepers. There is no way we can be like other nations that we admire without incorporating global practices.
‘’The private and public sectors must collaborate to ensure an economy that is free and fair and competitive.
‘’I am sure not many Nigerians are aware of the real issue of oil subsidy and those who are benefitting from it.
“The fact still remains that no nation can develop through unsustainable economic policies like the oil subsidy.
“A responsible government must look at it holistically and take a decision that is in the best interest of the citizens.”
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