If elected in next month’s elections, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has vowed to ensure that the subsidy is eliminated as intended by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The Federal Government’s payment of gasoline subsidies is expected to stop on June 30 of this year.
“They have removed it. That’s what they’ve done,” he said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s The People’s Townhall in Abuja on Sunday. “But I can assure you, it will go immediately. Subsidy – I’ve said it before – is organised crime and I will not allow it to stay a day longer.”
“What they’re telling you is not what it is. Half of what is being mentioned is not subsidy. First is that we consume the quantity that is not supposed to be consumed here. We are the same population with Pakistan. They consume below 50 percent of what we consume.
“So, the first half, I will remove it and give those people who are drinking it water – because that’s what they’re supposed to drink – so we can save the money.”
Obi further noted that, at present, Nigeria is burdened with debts. According to him, Nigeria needs the money to be able to invest in critical social development issues.
“Look at this year’s budget: education, which is the highest since this government came, is about N2 trillion. Health, which is the highest since this government came, is about N1.5 trillion. Then infrastructure, which is roads and everything, is about N1 trillion.
“These three critical development areas are receiving N4.5 trillion. Subsidy is N3.6 trillion – half year. So, if it’s a full year, it’s about N7 trillion. Which country will invest more in subsidy than education and health and even roads? It doesn’t make sense,” he said.