The Federal Government’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy has the support of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), which claims that doing so will promote economic growth.
In a statement, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, president of LCCI, expressed regret over previous administrations’ failure to take the necessary, brave action with relation to subsidy.
“LCCI wishes to commend the Federal Government on the removal of fuel subsidy,” he said in his own words. Unfortunately, past administrations have avoided making this crucial yet nation-building choice. However, it is significant that industry operators and authorities are already putting the subsidy elimination into effect.
The chamber is certain that the removal will have a significant financial impact on the government, lower the excessive cost of governance, increase sector responsibility, and affect the government’s ability to finance infrastructure development and economic growth.
“In addition, we believe that the choice, if implemented properly, will lead to better investments, particularly along its value chain, encourage healthy competition, and even guarantee product availability”.
Other benefits include an increase in overall employment, a reduction in the excessive strain on local tenders, an improvement in the balance of payments, and economic growth.
Olawale-Cole pointed out that throughout the years, numerous credible local and international organizations, including LCCI, had persistently expressed worries and misgivings about the massive fiscal burden the subsidy regime had placed on the country and its financial stability.
Therefore, the chamber makes a plea to Nigerians to show empathy and help the administration in carrying out this highly wanted policy in a proper manner.
“We also call on the government to demonstrate its commitment to the welfare of the general public, particularly the most vulnerable industries and groups. Palliative measures and interventions for vital industries may be used to achieve this.
“The government should move quickly to restore existing refineries to a fully operational state. After that, it can either sell them entirely in an open, competitive bidding procedure or sell them in part utilizing the NLNG model,” he continued.