Subsidy: Nigeria can no longer feed smugglers, says Tinubu

The President, Bola Tinubu, on Friday, said his administration did the right thing by removing fuel subsidy, adding that Nigeria could no longer feed smugglers.

According to a statement from the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, Tinubu said this in Abuja during an interactive session with traditional rulers under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.

The President said if the subsidy remained, it would bring Nigeria to her knees.

Speaking with the traditional rulers, Tinubu was quoted as saying, “I am grateful that you are paying attention to what I have been doing. You have paid attention to the subsidy removal.

“Why should we in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be ‘Father Christmas’ to neighbouring countries, even though they say not every day is Christmas?

“The elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees is the subsidy. A country that cannot pay salaries and we say we have potential to encourage ourselves. I think we did the right thing.”

Tinubu appealed to the traditional leaders to persuade Nigerians to have faith, adding that the pump prices of fuel would eventually come down.

He assured them that his administration would run an open-door policy that would listen to the yearnings of Nigerians toward transforming the country’s rich potential into reality.

“We are all ears. We are ready to listen at any given time. I promise you an open-door policy and that is the way I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send to me at any given time any concern that you might have.

‘‘We may not have it right 100 per cent of the time but we must get it right 90 per cent of the time for this country,” he added.

The President further pledged to prioritise security in the country until every Nigerian “goes to sleep with their two eyes closed.”

He condemned crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region which he said was perpetrated by a “tiny percentage” of the population.

‘‘We need to tame those involved in this sabotage and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that the diversity of this country is used for its prosperity, growth and stability,’’ he said.

“I promise you an open-door policy and that is the way I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send to me at any given time any concern that you might have.

‘‘We may not have it right 100 per cent of the time but we must get it right 90 per cent of the time for this country,” Tinubu added.

Responding to issues raised by the traditional rulers on challenges facing the country, he assured them, saying ‘‘worry not because the country is in good hands.”

 Speaking on the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, Tinubu urged the traditional rulers to counsel their subjects interested in elective positions on the need to manage their ambitions, and create harmony within the legislative house, adding that he would work with any elected representative.

The Chairman of NCTRN and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, pledged the support and loyalty of traditional rulers from the six geo-political zones to President Tinubu.

He assured the President of their continued prayers in his resolve to move the country forward under his Renewed Hope agenda.

‘‘We are 100 per cent in support of your government and we believe in the will of the Almighty Allah you will move this country forward

“We will contribute our quota to the development of the country once you reach out to us,’’ the Sultan added.

The Co-Chairman and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, expressed delight that the country had remained united and focused despite the challenges.

He, however, appealed to President Tinubu not to underestimate the power and reach of traditional rulers in complementing the programmes and visions of the new government.

(Punch)