Jonathan: Removing Fuel Subsidy Will Attract Foreign Investors

The argument for a complete removal of fuel subsidy re-emerged yesterday as President Goodluck Jonathan said it was the only way to attract investors to the petroleum sector.

Jonathan, who stated this while receiving the report of this year’s graduating participants of the Senior Executive Course 34 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, said such a decision would also bring an end to the importation of petroleum products.

He said although the total removal of fuel subsidy would initially make things hard for Nigerians, but eventually Nigerians would be happier if they persevere.

The president asked rhetorically: “Why is it that people are not building refineries in Nigeria despite the fact that it is a big business? It is because of the policy of subsidy, and that is why we want to get out of it.” He explained that the transformation of Nigeria should witness should be likened to a painful surgery that nonetheless must be carried out for it to be healthy.

“To change a nation is like surgery. If you have a young daughter of five years who has a boil at a very strategic part of the face, you either as a parent leave that boil because the young girl will cry or you take the girl to the surgeon. So you have the option of just robbing mentholatum on the face until the boil will bust and disfigure her face or you take that child to the surgeon. On the sighting of a scalpel of the surgeon alone, the child will start crying.

“But if she bears the pains and do the incision and treat it, after some days or weeks, the child will grow up to be a beautiful lady. There are certain decisions that government must take that may be painful at the beginning and people must be properly informed so that they will be ready to bear the pains,” he said.

Maintaining that the country would record progress within a decade once the right policies were implemented, Jonathan said: “I believe that you do not need a lifetime to change a nation. Under 10 years, Nigeria can change and people will not even believe that this is Nigeria again. Immediately you come up with strong policies in key sectors of the economy and keep it for 10 years, the change will be astronomical.”

On the NIPSS graduates’ report that was a comparative study of Nigeria and Canadian refineries, he observed that the latter has 16 functional refineries, while Nigeria has four whose production quota was just 30 per cent of their installed capacity. He attributed the success story of Canadian refineries to the fact that they are privately-owned.

In their presentation, the graduating participants called on the president to redouble its efforts in curbing the proliferation of arms and insecurity in the country. Titled: “Resource Diversification for Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria,” the report noted that “one of the greatest threats to security is unemployment.”

The report also commented on the state of the nation’s airports, saying: “The nation’s aviation sector is not robust enough for diversification.” A similar verdict was passed on the maritime sector, while the media got knocks for what the participants described as their subjective reporting.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Sir, before I make any complain I would like to suggest that we should get these investors into the country first. The reason is because your tactics will put a hut on the economy. That is stagnation and I am sure you know it is worse than inflation. We can sell off our refineries to capable investors who can put it in a better shape (80-97% production capacity) within a given period of time. Then we guarantee them that nigeria will be subsidy free by the time there are in full production. I don’t know if you have thought of this strategy but there is more to it. Thanks

  2. In addition to the above suggestion this idea can earn “foreign returns” for the down stream economy. Sir, if you go with your strategy the pocket of the common man will go empty. Putting “foreign investors” in such a sensitive sector will mean shifting our economy to the investing countries. That is more like re-occurrence of slave trade and this time it will be more destructive than before. (This is what Europe will do to rise again: I bet you, they will own over 100% of the investment). I can put your plan in good shape.

  3. Uncle jona do u think d only problem we have in Nigeria is removal of fuel subsidy. Some pple have started pusing u. All those dat are involve in d subsidy scam, who is tryin dem nd where are they. Stop fulling us

  4. Ok, for some reasons I thought we had settled the issue of fuel subsidy… But that is obviously not the case. In my opinion, President Goodluck Jonathan should concentrate on more pressing issues like the ever growing security challenges, unemployment, poverty corruption etc. It is really a shame that those that were involved in the subsidy scam haven’t been prosecuted. This gives the an impression that crime and corruption can be made away with… May God help us! Anyways, I think it is time we stop looking up to the government especially for job opportunities and start looking inward to bring out and make the best of ourselves. I’m talking about being creative and starting up our own businesses; which is why I want to use this medium to introduce “African Entrepreneurship Advantage Initiative” (aeai). It is an organisation that helps and teaches people on how to start up their business. A Business Forum meeting holds every thrusday at suit 5, O’neal Centre, 360 Obafemi Owolowo way, Jabi district, Abuja. Tune in, Tue & Thurs 6.30pm, LOVE FM 104.5, for the First radio biz show “Re-defining Business Radio Show”…Get ready to GET STARTED!!!…visit http://www.aeaing.org. (E-mail: aeai.ngo1@yahoo.com). Have a blessed day.

  5. We are already in subsidy regime… Bt b4 den we should know what happen to those involved in d subsidy scam d likes of farouk & Otedola also d Ribadu report b4 its removal cos datz what will bring investors. Bt if d cost of building refinery is dat high as we claim how comes individuals own der small refineries in d Niger Delta. We nid 2 correct what is on ground 2 better d system.

  6. Sir, the decision to remove fuel subsidy is a good one because this will make Nigerian to advance in term of production, it will also create jobs to many Nigerians, although things will get tough for Nigerians adding to the current flood challenges in the country, But i suggest that adequate incentive should be put in place to aid these next level kind of step we are about to take in Nigeria

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