Nov 5, 2011 – PDP: Fuel Subsidy Removal ‘ll Create Investment Opportunity
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan-led government would help to increase private sector investment in Nigeria.
The Acting Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, while reacting to variant opinions from opposition parties, yesterday in a press conference on the on-going debate on the removal of fuel subsidy, said infrastructural projects would be achievable only if resources were harnessed to finance the major developmental programmes.
To accelerate this process, the PDP chair said, there must be closer collaboration between the public and the private sector in harnessing the vast potentials in the refining and the distribution of petroleum products.
“It has therefore become imperative to consummate the process of deregulation which was started long time ago. The reality is that, without the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, the private sector is unlikely to invest in this vital sector and thereby bring more value to the Nigerian economy.
“It is now time for all Nigerians to fully enjoy the benefits of the petroleum industry. The era when we used our collective wealth to fund the greed of a few middlemen is over. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. We cannot continue to gloss over a problem that poses imminent danger to our economic progress,” he remarked.
Baraje reiterated the party’s support for President Jonathan’s scheme to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
His words: “We are also encouraged by Mr. President’s decision to constitute a committee of reputable Nigerians to advise on the management of the income that will accrue from the removal of subsidy for the overall benefit of all Nigerians. We therefore call on all Nigerians to rise up and support this patriotic mission to rescue our economy from the hands of profiteers.
“We are not unmindful of the temporary discomfort this policy reform may bring to our compatriots. We however want to assure all Nigerians that the government is currently discussing with all interest groups, including the labour movement and principal stakeholders in the oil industry, to come up with measures to lighten the impact on the ordinary Nigerian.”