An oil magnate, Chief Tony Onukeme, has urged the Federal Government to remove all forms of subsidy on petroleum products.
Chief Onukeme made the call in Awka, Anambra State on Friday.
He said the subsidy regime had contributed greatly to the underdevelopment of the nation’s oil sector and had led to the starvation of other sectors of the economy of the resources required for growth.
“The survival of Nigeria is in the hands of the private sector.
“I advise the Federal Government to remove the fuel subsidy; it is the fuel subsidy that is killing the economy of this great nation.
“An individual can build private refineries and sell refined products instead of buying refined products from abroad (and selling them to Nigerians).
“If we actually want to live; if we want to survive as a nation, there must be complete removal of fuel subsidy”.
Onukeme, who is the managing director of Tonimas Group, said that recent developments in the world oil market had made the importation of refined petroleum products an unsustainable venture.
The oil magnate argued that the Nigerian economy could be protected from unnecessary stress occasioned by constant fuel scarcity, if government would encourage local refining of crude.
He further said that the private sector remained the major driver of any economy and should be encouraged by the Federal Government to set up oil refineries.
Onukeme said the Organised Private Sector in the country was eager to see the impact of the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on business and the economy.
He expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy would wax stronger in the course of the Buhari administration and called on stakeholders in a better Nigeria to be patient and be supportive of the administration’s economic reforms.