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Fuel subsidy removal is unnecessary, Abatemi-Usman insists



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Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman representing Kogi Central Senatorial District on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reiterated his position on the petrol subsidy removal.

In a statement signed by his Special Assistant (SA) on Media, Michael Jegede, the Senator lamented the pain and hardship Nigerians have been subjected to since the beginning of New Year 2012 as a result of the withdrawal of the subsidy.

Abatemi-Usman, who had recently told the people of his constituency that he was totally against fuel subsidy removal at a townhall meeting in Okene, wondered why the people would be made to start year 2012 on such a painful note.

He called on the Federal Government to have a rethink on its decision which, according to him, is clearly against the wishes of the Nigerian masses.

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The lawmaker maintained that there are other ways the government could go about reforming the economy without having to make the populace go through untold hardship.

“I have never supported the removal of fuel subsidy because I know the kind of pain it is going to cause the people. I know it is not in the interest of the people. For people to start paying between N150 to N200 per litre of fuel as against N65, I do not think it is the best way to bring about transformation of our economy, Abatemi-Usman noted, adding that, “We should be talking about how to reduce corruption to the bearest minimum at all levels of government and in all arms of government. We should be talking about improving certain moribund sectors in the country that can help advance our economy. Look at the steel sector. We should be talking about completing Ajaokuta Steel complex which is capable of creating over 2.5 million jobs for Nigerians. If we ensure proper development of the steel industry, for instance, it will be able to generate revenue that will rival the oil industry and the country will be better for it.”

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The youngest Senator in the Red Chamber, however, appealed to Nigerians to exercise caution and restraint, while expressing hope that something would definitely be done about the issue.

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