Subsidy removal: Palliatives will put smiles on Nigerians -Tinubu

—Says savings will benefit everyone

Against the backdrop of the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to wait patiently and believe in his administration as he promised to come up with palliatives that will put smiles on the faces of everyone.

President Tinubu admitted that he is aware that Nigerians are suffering from the removal of the fuel subsidy but assures that the savings will benefit all Nigerians.

He also reaffirmed his commitment to returning Nigeria to the path of greatness and appealed to citizens to see the current harsh times as a form of labour before child birth.

The President, who made the promise in a meeting with the Class of 1999 Governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the umpteenth time reiterated his commitment to Nigeria’s greatness and appeal for support.

Recall that during his inaugural speech on May 29, the President announced that subsidy is gone and the pump price of petrol went up the next day from the initial N195 to over N500 per litre.

Consequently, the prices of goods and commodities skyrocketed to a very disturbing and unbearable level.

Besides, in a meeting with oil and gas operators in February, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, stated that the country was spending N400 billion monthly on fuel subsidies.

But speaking at the meeting with the Class of 1999 Governors, yesterday, the President said: “On the subsidy removal thank you for the support. And I understand people are suffering. Yet, there can be no childbirth without pain.

“The joy of childbirth is the big relief of the pain. Nigeria is reborn. It is a rebirth of our country. To face our problem, to bring the savings to benefit the largest number of people in the country and not a few smugglers and exploiters. Thank you for your support.”

He re-echoed his commitment to Nigeria’s greatness and appeal for support.

The President also appealed to citizens for their patience and trust on the delivery of the palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of the removal of fuel subsidy.

Chairman of the Class of 1999 Governors and former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion, speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, also expressed the group’s support for President Tinubu as he takes on the task of fixing the country.

The Class of 1999 Governors was the first set of elected governors of the current democratic dispensation, also known as the Fourth Republic.

He said, “We’ll like to thank you for this opportunity to address you this evening after our courtesy call on one of our own, Mr President, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who is one of the foundation members of this present Fourth Republic. As you all know, everyone of us that is here was a governor from 1999. So we’ll like to say we are the solid foundation on which this Fourth Republic has been thriving.

“We came to congratulate Mr President and also to thank him for making one of us the Secretary to Government. We came to assure him that he has our full support and prayers for the bold steps he has started to take, for his initiatives and also let him know that this is beyond party politics, we’re now talking about the Project Nigeria, therefore all hands must be on deck to give Mr President the needed support and encouragement to foster a better a better nation.

“We also seized the opportunity to congratulate him as the new Chairman of the ECOWAS and assure him that we’re with him and anytime he wants to dig into the wealth of experience of this very prominent and well founded members of Class of ’99, he should be rest assured that we’ll continue to give him the necessary support.

“On his part Mr President assured us that it is his dream to see a better Nigeria and he also wants us to let you know that the decisions that he has taken so far might be painful, but it’s just like a child birth; in order to celebrate a child, you must go through labour.

“Therefore, Nigerians should wait patiently and believe in him, that he’s going to come up with palliatives that will put smile on the faces of every one of us in Nigeria.

“So we believe him and we want to encourage you also to give him the necessary support through the media and give correct information to the general populace so that we’ll have a greater nation”, he said.

Igbinedion further disclosed that the group had discussions on other national issues, ranging from security to unemployment and infrastructure needs.

“We talked about security, we talked about unemployment and we talked about electricity because without electricity, we really cannot develop. So for us to develop, then there must be constant, uninterrupted power supply.

“The issue of subsidy is gone and it’s gone forever. People should start finding their level and I’m sure we time things will come to normal and also the unification of the exchange rate into one now, as was also mentioned.

“So these are just the basic issues that we raised there and Mr President, on his own, thanked us for coming en mass. You can see in 1999 we were 36, but today we’re now 26. We want to assure you that even though some of us have gone to the great beyond, but the majority of us are still very much alive and it is our prayer that we’ll continue to be of service to our nation, without any prejudices”, he said.