Tinubu’s Abrupt Subsidy Removal Caused Hardship – Sagay

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor Itse Sagay, has voiced criticism against President Bola Tinubu’s recent removal of petrol subsidies, labeling it a hasty decision that has inflicted significant hardship on citizens. Speaking in an interview, Sagay argued that the government should have postponed this move until domestic oil production commenced.

The renowned legal scholar, also serving as the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), highlighted projects like the Dangote refinery and the Port Harcourt refinery as potential measures to facilitate a smoother transition away from subsidies.

He said, “Petrol is critical to our lives. The cost of living is going up, and basic living is now expensive. I think we might have gone on for another six months and as internal production was coming up, then the subsidy can be removed.

“The immediacy and the sudden manner of the decision to remove petrol subsidy has created an immediate level of hardship which is almost becoming unbearable.

“I am not in full agreement with the way and order some of the things are being done now. On the issue of petrol, I would have been happier if the government had been patient to allow internal production to commence before removing the subsidy.

“Now, Dangote is now producing. And of course, the refinery in Port Harcourt is almost ready. Perhaps, if we had waited a little longer, the transition will not have been harsh. We are in it already but I think we are in competent hands and we will get out of it.

“We’ve been on this subsidy for decades and a few more months would not have killed us. You can see the difference in lifestyle now.”

Sagay also said there must be a stop to the “deterioration of the value of the naira”.

He said, “I never dreamt that there would be a time when the dollar would change for over N1,000 to a dollar. It has to stop, otherwise, it will destroy everything that the government is trying to do.”

He however expressed confidence in the new government and its ability to provide quality leadership for the Nigerian people.