- Category: Politics
- Published on Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:31
- Written by Admin
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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has lamented the alleged high politicisation of the Federal Government’s proposed fuel subsidy removal, saying that those against the policy wanted to bring down his government.
The president spoke, on Thursday, in Abuja at the presidential dialogue with global chief executive officers in the ongoing 17th Nigerian Economic Summit, organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, in conjunction with the National Planning Commission.
President Jonathan, who disclosed that initially these critics supported the fuel subsidy removal policy, lamented that they later turned the issue into full-scale politics with the sole aim of bringing down his government.
Disclosing that the opponents of fuel subsidy removal in their closet saw the wisdom in fuel subsidy removal, President Jonathan stated that they resorted to politicising the policy when they saw it as an opportunity to bring the government down.
He said the government had to slow down on the implementation date of fuel subsidy removal to ensure that all stakeholders were carried along through mass education and logical reasoning.
Insisting on carrying out the deregulation policy in the downstream oil sector of the Nigerian economy, the president said if fuel subsidy was not withdrawn, Nigeria would be importing fuel from neighbouring countries of Ghana and Cameroun in the next 10 to 15 years.
Noting that the Federal Government had already deregulated the price of diesel, the president said trucks and other big vehicles were now using diesel to power their engines, stressing that if petrol was deregulated now, it would only affect the middle class, some of whom, he said, had up to four or five Jeeps and not the masses.
On why the government is slow in taking certain decisions, the president said that there were three arms of government in the country, stressing that if the Federal Government wanted to do anything, the legislators must be carried along in the process and thus the implementation of such policy was sometimes delayed.
President Jonathan, answering a question on why the masses were not feeling the developmental impact of growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is now about 7.8 per cent, said that such economic indices were for the big players in the economy while the government would focus on how to improve the living standard of the people through job creation, provision of security and infrastructure.
He said it was the intention of creating an economic environment that would improve the people’s standard of living that informed the decision of his government to set up the economic management team, stressing, however, that the private sector must collaborate with the public sector, as the Federal Government alone could not bring about the much desired economic transformation.
Reiterating the commitment of his administration to improve power supply in the country, President Jonathan said that the government was very careful in the handling of the privatisation process in the power sector with a view to ensuring a transparent process.