Senator Godswill Akpabio has disclosed that Nigeria’s neighbouring West African countries are rioting as the pain of the subsidy removal hit hard on them. Before this administration emerged, he noted that the Nigerian government were almost subsidising the fuel consumption of the neighbouring countries.
Akpabio who is now the Senate President on Monday said that with the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, there have been protests in neighbouring countries profiting from the old order.
He stated this on Monday, following President Bola Ahmed’s inspection of a Guard of Honour at the Forecourt of the Presidential Villa in Abuja as part of activities planned to commemorate 2023 Democracy Day.
According to Akpabio, daily consumption of petrol has decreased since the subsidy was removed, and the resources saved from the policies being implemented will be used to improve Nigerians’ living standards.
“Definitely, because, of course, you have seen the last election,” he said of Democracy Day’s gains. Despite the fact that it was Nigeria’s first cashless election, Nigerians turned out in large numbers to elect their preferred leaders. So we’re very excited, and we know there’s still hope.
“We will cash in by ensuring that there is peace and then ensuring that we work towards a secured nation where everybody can sleep with their eyes closed and, of course, bring back prosperity.
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“We will produce what we consume and consume what we produce. We are already certain and we believe that the internal refineries are now going to kick in with the abrogation of subsidy which was a terrible canker-worm.”
“I don’t know the statistics, but someone is telling me that over 69 million barrels (probably litres) a day were being consumed before the subsidy was removed, but now it has been reduced to 15 million. Then the neighbouring countries are rioting because we were almost subsidizing almost all our neighbours in West Africa.”
“We were depleting our resources and we were getting poorer while they were enjoying their lives. So, today, Nigerians have hope—a renewed hope—that yes, indeed, the resources we are going to save from the policies being taken already by this administration would be used by humanity and used to enhance the living standard of Nigerians. So, we are cashing in on this day of democracy.”
When asked about the significance of Democracy Day, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State said, “It’s a milestone for the country.” In terms of freedom, we are making progress. When you consider the events of 30 years ago, the late MKO Abiola—may his soul rest in peace—also it’s a time for sober reflection.
“And then we’re commemorating that event on this day, which is very humbling.” And for us to be alive to witness this, and for almost seven times of democratic baton passing, it demonstrates clearly that Nigeria is moving forward in freedom, and I believe in prosperity under President Bola Tinubu.”