Fuel subsidy, a monster that deprived Nigerians myriad of social amenities – Information Minister

Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has said that the erstwhile fuel subsidy was a monster which had deprived Nigerians of a myriad of social amenities.

Idris spoke on Saturday in Kaduna at a reception organised in his honour by the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

He recalled that President Bola Tinubu, who took over the leadership of the country less than a year ago has recorded giant strides.

These included the removal of the fuel subsidy, which according to him, took virtually everything Nigerians were supposed to have.

Idris said the fuel subsidy took away the resources to build roads, hospitals, lay a good foundation for the educational advancement of Nigerians, among other social amenities.

He explained that with the removal of the fuel subsidy, a lot of resources were freed and put back into the system.

The minister added that the Federal Government and its sub-nationals now have more money for the needs and betterment of Nigerians.

“If we are looking for one reason why fuel subsidy has to go, is that we were consuming nearly two billion liters of premium motor spirit, when the fuel subsidy was removed, it dropped down to about 50 per cent.

“What that meant was that over a billion liters of fuel we are consuming in the country suddenly dropped.

”All those opposing the fuel subsidy removal are supposed to ask the question of where the about 1 billion liters of consumption that is cut down is going to.

“The resources that were freed are being brought back, there is no Governor that is not getting twice or more of the allocation available to their state government to engage in more productive ventures,”Idris said.

He, however, said that the shocks as a result of the fuel subsidy removal were inevitable, but the action was not intended to suffer Nigerians but for their long term benefits.

According to him, every successive government in Nigeria had hoped it would remove fuel subsidies.

Idris said, ”But only the President Tinubu’s led administration had the courage to do so alongside many other steps towards the betterment of the country.”

He added that the shocks, resulting from the fuel subsidy removal were cushioned by the implementation of wage award and the provision of Com[ressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for subsidized transportation.

Idris, however, said that the CNG buses, which were not yet found everywhere in the country, had made the Federal Government set aside over N100 billion in the first instance to ensure their availability across Nigeria.

The minister assured Nigerians of the Federal Government’s commitment to implement the outcome of the decision that would be brought out by the committee that inaugurated a new wage regime in the country.