The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has described fuel subsidy as an organized crime that he will tackle headlong if elected as Nigeria’s president in February.
The Federal Government plans to stop payment of subsidy on petrol in June this year.
The government had earmarked N3. 36 trillion in the 2023 budget for payment of fuel subsidies in the first six months this year.
Obi, who spoke at a Channels Television town hall series on Sunday, also expressed concern over the country’s rising debts and promised massive investments in critical sectors of the economy.
The LP candidate said: “They have removed it. That’s what they’ve done. But I can assure you, it will go immediately. Subsidy – I’ve said it before – is an 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 a subsidy. First is that we consume the quantity that is not supposed to be consumed here. We are the same population as 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.
“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. The subsidy is N3.6 trillion – half a year. So, if it’s a full year, it’s about N7 trillion. Which country will invest more in subsidies than education and health and even roads? It doesn’t make sense.”
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