Former Minister of State Finance, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama has backed the federal government’s removal of fuel subsidy which shot up price of the commodity.
The economist said despite the difficulties, the decision to abolish Nigeria’s fuel subsidy is the right one.
“The subsidy continues to crowd out other development spending, the cost has also continued to grow exponentially. Nigeria is paying about N1 trillion Naira annually for interest alone of both domestic and foreign loans. We cannot continue like this”, Ngama explained.
On the benefits of the subsidy removal to ordinary Nigerians, Ngama said, “in the wake of the global financial crisis occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic and increasing sovereign debt risk, financing for development is drying up and Nigeria must now look inward to finance its growth and development needs.
“So, if Nigerians want good road networks, healthcare services and other basic needs, then they must endure the current hardship”.
The former PDP Chieftain was also of the view that the N160 per liter of petrol is even too small considering the amount paid by petrol end users in countries like Saudi Arabia, which is over N200.
“When I was a Minister under Jonathan’s administration, we advised the government to remove the subsidy because it was a scam, some few individuals were just enriching themselves from it, but because of some interest, the government failed to accept our advice. Today, Nigerians are paying for that costly mistake”, he stated.