The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Ali Gulak, said yesterday that the removal of fuel subsidy had become inevitable because it has “now dawned on everybody that we cannot continue to sustain this subsidy.”
Gulak, who made the remarks when he received the Initiative for Diaspora Knowledge Transfer, IDKT, led by its Chairman and Global Coordinator, Prince Chidi Ibe, said the Jonathan presidency was committed to ensuring that Nigerians were not shortchanged through the subsidy.
According to him, “Mr. President is hungry for development. That is the reason Mr. President has always said it is better for Nigeria as a country, to deploy our resources to productive sector, rather than consumption.
“For instance, in January, Mr. President said we have to do away with this fuel subsidy and most people did not take it the way we saw it and there was a protest all over the country.”
He said with the recent revelation in the subsidy regime, it has become obvious that we cannot continue to sustain this subsidy where Nigeria will continue to spend over N1 trillion on consumption.
The political adviser noted that if the country had been deploying its resources to productive sectors like agriculture where our youths will be employed, like our railway system where they will have the cheapest mode of transportation, like our public works, it will be better for this country than subsidizing petrol consumption that will be available for a section of the community.
He promised to look into the modules earlier presented by Ibe and his team, especially the trade and the agricultural aspect where Ibe spoke about the cluster, saying he would refer Ibe to the appropriate Ministries, Agencies and Departments, MDAs, to talk to the ministers to see what the government could tap from his knowledge.
In his remarks,Mr Ibe said his visit to the Office of the Political Adviser to the President, was to tell the government that IDKT has quick-fix projects that the government can actually adopt to actually show that something is happening.
He said “the modules presented through IDKT’s center, if Mr. President gets to see them and execute even one of the modules, is enough to change the opinion of Nigerians because they are clearly people-oriented projects.”
Ibe also said the modules are things that are also job creating, oriented modules that we have. We want the political office to push it to the administration to come up with quick-fix projects that the people will really appreciate,” he said.
While saying that his initiative was hinged on transformation, Ibe further said “we believe that you can’t leave everything to government to do. So, we bring our own ideas to support the government so that the government can tap knowledge from what has happened in other economies so that the government will be able to further their own development,” Ibe explained.