New Telegraph

Fuel subsidy removal, most important step for Nigeria’s prosperity – MOMAN

The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), has said that the implementation of the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol or fuel, will be a significant step towards bringing prosperity to Nigeria. In an interview with Saturday Telegraph over the weekend, the Executive Secretary, MOMAN, Mr Clement Isong, said it was cheery information from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, that the federal government will implement petrol subsidy removal before the end of the tenure of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He called on the Federal Government to avoid the mistakes encountered during the implementation of demonetisation or naira redesign policy.

He said it was imperative for the government to brainstorm with critical stakeholders to identify problem areas and mitigate them, adding that proper implementation of the deregulation of the downstream sector was needful. Isong said; “It must be properly done in terms of policy implementation to avoid the sort of challenges we had with the currency situation talking about the naira redesign policy. “The government should embark on consultations with all the stakeholders to be able to identify potential problem areas, and potential challenges and mitigate and plan for them.

It must be properly implemented through consultation with market operators and other stakeholders. “It is good news that the federal government will implement the subsidy removal before the end of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. “If you are in the know, the economy is really struggling. You can see it. If we get this right, it is the single most important step towards bringing prosperity to the country. If we get it right and get other things right alongside it, it will provide support to all other areas of the economy. It will bring the country back to productivity.” The MOMAN Chief Executive said it is true that prices of petrol will rise at the subsidy removal initial implementation period, but that it will stabilise and engender prosperity, attract the require investments, enhance the welfare and quality of lives of Nigerians and transform the country. He called on the people to cooperate with the government and endure the initial shocks. He also urged the government to provide the necessary palliatives to cushion the negative effects of the initial policy implementation. “When you are ill and you take medicine, medicine is bitter at the beginning. You need to keep your sight on what life will be like when you are fit and healthy. At the beginning, there may be some pains, the medicine may test bitter. We should never have allowed ourselves to get into this situation for it to get so bad. But if we take our medicine, if we are resilient and do what we should do, things will get better. This is not just the only thing to do. There are other things to do alongside it. “If we get it all right, then we would have brought the country into improving its productivity quickly. If we do, we will create prosperity for the fast number of Nigerians. We would grow the economy at the rate that is necessary to cater for the size of our population. You cannot grow the economy at two or three per cent. It is not enough. You have to create it significantly more if you want to bring 100 million people or more out of poverty. “Unfortunately, there must be a little pain at the beginning but we must keep our eyes on the goal. At the end of the day, if we show discipline in implementation, if we show the discipline in implementing the parallel policies for complementarily of policies, this country and its citizens are destined for prosperity.” he said.

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