31 December 2011, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, says Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, alongside the rich and the middle class, are the major beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria.
The minister is speaking amid raging debate across Nigeria as to the desirability or otherwise of fuel subsidy removal by the Nigerian government.
In a keynote address at a one day seminar on the theme: “Removal of Fuel Subsidy and its Impact on the Maritime Industry” which took place Friday at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Umar argued that there was no need for the federal government to continue to subsidise fuel when the ordinary Nigerians were not getting the benefits.
At the event which attracted foremost maritime and petroleum operators, government officials, policy makers and other stakeholders, including the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Umar, a former member of the National Assembly, said: “The major beneficiaries of subsidy are the rich, middle class and some neighbouring Countries where the products are smuggled oftentimes. In the light of our current realities and the need to stimulate economic growth, is it prudent to continue to retain fuel subsidy?”