President Bola Tinubu has defended the elimination of fuel subsidies by stating that the country cannot continue to support smugglers and function as Santa Claus to its neighbors.
According to a statement State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, stated this during an interactive session with the Royal Fathers under the auspices of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) on Friday at Aso Villa.
The President informed them of the decision to eliminate fuel subsidies, enhance security, create employment, and protect the environment, as well as the upcoming election of the 10th National Assembly’s executive officers.
''I am appreciative that you have been observing my actions. You have considered the subsidy removal. Why should we, in good conscience and common sense, feed contraband and be Fathers Christmas to neighboring nations, even though not every day is Christmas?
‘‘The subsidy was the elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees. A nation that cannot pay compensation, yet we claim to have the ability to motivate ourselves. I believe we made the correct decision,’’ he said.
Diverse speakers at the meeting voiced support for the removal of the subsidy, with the President urging the traditional leaders to persuade Nigerians to have faith that fuel prices will ultimately decline.
While acknowledging the need for critical infrastructure in various areas of the country, President Tinubu vowed that his administration would remove any obstacles to the progress of the Nigerian people.
Where will the money for capital initiatives come from if we do not protect our natural resources and territorial boundaries?
“Development is impossible without capital projects,” he added.
Regarding the leadership of the National Assembly, the President implored the royal fathers to counsel their subjects seeking elective positions on the need to manage their ambitions and foster harmony within the legislature.
President Tinubu stated that he is willing to collaborate with any member of the National Assembly and that the Nigeria project is of the utmost significance to him.
‘‘Nigeria must endure. Nigeria must develop. Nigeria must make strides,’’ he said.
Regarding security, the President reaffirmed to Nigerians his pledge to prioritize the sector until every Nigerian “sleeps with both eyes closed.”
He emphasized that the nation’s unity and cohesion cannot be compromised, stating that every region of the nation would receive its due.
''We intend to address juvenile unemployment. Only when we have national prosperity will we be able to create employment for our young people, said the former governor of Lagos State.