…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has expressed his endorsement for the removal of petroleum product subsidies, albeit with certain conditions that should be beneficial to the people.
Speaking to journalists during his ongoing election petition case at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, Obi emphasized that his support for subsidy removal dates back to his time as a member of the Presidential Economic Management Team during the Goodluck Jonathan era.
He referred to subsidy as organized crime, pointing out that it allowed individuals to exploit the country’s resources, while presenting statistical evidence that the claimed fuel consumption levels were inflated.
Distinguishing his perspective on subsidy removal from the current situation in the country, Obi drew an analogy to visiting a dentist for a painful tooth.
He explained that a dentist would administer a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth, minimizing pain, rather than forcibly extracting it.
Similarly, he advocated for a careful and considerate approach to subsidy removal that prioritizes the well-being of the people.
Obi highlighted that during Jonathan’s tenure, efforts were made to implement various relief policies like Sure-P alongside the removal of subsidy.
He emphasized that his manifesto outlines a detailed plan for subsidy removal, with a commitment to govern in partnership with the people and demonstrate transparently how the savings from subsidy removal would be utilized.
Obi pointed out a common issue in Nigeria, where people are often asked to endure suffering and make sacrifices without witnessing the tangible results of their efforts.
He stressed the importance of ensuring that the people benefit directly from any policy adjustments or reforms.
By engaging in evidence-based governance and involving the citizens in the decision-making process, Obi aims to address this problem and provide a clear understanding of the outcomes resulting from any sacrifices made.
In summary, Peter Obi, the LP presidential candidate, supports the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.
However, he believes that it should be done in a manner that considers the well-being of the people and provides clear empirical evidence of the benefits.
He draws a parallel between the careful approach of a dentist numbing a painful tooth and his proposed strategy for subsidy removal, emphasizing the need to minimize any potential adverse effects.
Obi also highlights the importance of involving the citizens in governance and ensuring they see the tangible results of their sacrifices.