Partial Withdrawal of Fuel Subsidy Will Eliminate Corruption – Yakassai
An elder statesman, Alh Tanko Yakassai, said he is strongly in support of the partial withdrawal of fuel subsidy – if it will eliminate the massive corruption in the regime as was exposed in the National Assembly investigations carried out recently in both the Senate and House of Representatives enquirers as a result of which a handful of individuals siphoned billions of Nigeria’s money and converted it to their personal use.
Yakassai, who is the Chairman Northern Elders Council (NEC), made his intention known in a statement, while reacting to the partial withdrawal of fuel subsidy. According to him, ordinary Nigerians were not actual beneficiaries of the subsidy.
“I have been a strong supporter of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy for the last twenty years or thereabout. I have many reasons that informed my position. First, is that the ordinary Nigerians are not the actual beneficiaries of the subsidy regime,” he said.
Yakassai also said that only the marketers and smugglers were the main beneficiaries of the subsidy policy. “Besides, as long as the petroleum products price would be cheaper in Nigeria then in our immediate neighboring countries, nobody can stop smuggling of the products from our country to our neighbors, which informed the ineffectiveness of the control of pump price in our country.
“If the government removes the subsidy, the money that would be saved as a result can be put to better use in dealing with more pressing problems bedeviling our nation such as problems of endemic unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, modernisation of agriculture, addressing the need for robust education and healthcare programme that can better the lot of our people.
“The money that will be saved, if the subsidy is removed, can also be utilised in cushioning the effect of the hardship and sufferings of our working population, and the common man will experience as a result of the withdrawal of the oil subsidy by granting such amenities as rent grant, healthcare subsidy, reduction of school fees and other remedial programmes.