Subsidy on petroleum a waste, remove it – Expert tells FG

A financial expert, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, has asked the federal government to remove subsidy on petroleum, saying, “it is a waste.”

Chief Adegoke who was speaking with journalists in Ibadan declared that federal government should no longer hesitate in removing the subsidy on petroleum in the overall interest of the masses and Nigeria as a country.

“That is why I don’t support the subsidy. The basic thing that the federal government can do which I don’t think if Buhari government can do it is to remove subsidy, because it is a waste. Subsidy is a waste. You said you are helping the poor, which poor are you helping, how many poor are you helping, how many poor owns a car,” he said.

Chief Adegoke added, “Okay, I own four or five cars, that means the federal government is subsidizing me to buy fuel into my cars. The poor that you are talking about enters public buses, what the federal government can use that money to do is to remove subsidy and invest the money in made transportation, mass transit. And when I say mass transportation, I does not mean buying buses but build mono rail.”

According to the financial expert, the billions of Naira, being committed yearly by the federal government on fuel subsidy has no positive impact on the poor because, it was meant to enrich the few rich. 

Advising that should the subsidy on petroleum be removed, the government on its part should be sincere by spend the money acruable from the removed subsidy judiciously and  to developed mass transportation, agriculture, built schools, hospitals that will be accessible to the masses adding that that is the only way the people can benefit from the removal of the fuel subsidy, Chief  Adegoke said the growth of Nigeria may be a mirage if the government could spend more on recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure. 

“So, that subsidy is enough to build mono rail. Mass transit, don’t buy buses to increase the number of buses on the roads that are already congested, build mono rail. So, if they remove subsidy and the government is sincere with it and use it to build mass transit, have a target instead of some people to pocket the money, billions of naira. You build the mono rail and get the private sector to buy the coaches. 

“That is why I  don’t support subsidy provided that they can spend it judiciously on infrastructural development. Power, if there is an improvement in power, it will reduce unemployment rate. Welder needs light, that is why all of them are riding motorcycles. If there is light, I can tell you that if you want to establish laundering and dry cleaning services, you will be thinking of how much will I use to buy generators. What KVA generator do I need to buy. Everybody needs power. What business do you want to do that you will not need electricity. 

“The only problem that I see is that, any country that is spending more on recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure will not grow. That is the basic fact because capital expenditure is the one that will help you to develop and generate future income and revenue. If roads are bad and you spend ten hours you lost nine hours, that will affect productivity. Productivity will low. We are supposed to be producing but we you could not get to where you are going on time. Our problem in this country is that we spend more on recurrent than capital.”

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