Abuja – Transport operators have expressed optimism that the removal of subsidy on fuel by the Federal Government will end the persistent smuggling of premium motor spirit out of the country.
Speaking in an interview in Abuja on Sunday, one of the transporters, Alhaji Musa Isewele, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Musa Shehu Isewele Motors, said that the removal of the subsidy would make fuel smuggling unattractive and put a stop to the problem.
Isewele said that since the removal would ensure uniform price in the long run, smuggling activities would be eradicated.
He said that proceeds saved from the subsidy would be used to provide better infrastructure in hospitals, roads, refineries among others.
Isewele also noted that taking the removal option would yield massive employment for teeming youths, ensure steady power supply and create a pool of funds for direct intervention in road rehabilitation.
“The reason why I support the move by the Federal Government is that those smugglers who takes our fuel to Niger, Cameroun and other countries would stop this activity because the price would be the same.
“Also this will put an end to the act of selling adulterated petrol which have negative effect on vehicle engines.’’
In a separate interview, Dr Olufemi Ajewole, President, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), said that the association supported the removal.
Ajewole, however, said that the money saved from the subsidy removal should be spent on revamping decaying infrastructure, upgrading of primary and tertiary health facilities, procurement of modern agricultural facilities among others.
He further called on the Federal Government to set up a transparent committee to manage the funds that would be saved as a result of the subsidy removal.
According to him, anything short of this will defeat the purpose of subsidy removal.
“The Federal Government should set up a transparent committee to manage the subsidy so that the money will not go back to the same old hands.
“With the removal there will be more jobs through the building of more refineries, our universities will be adequately funded, among others and if actually this is government’s intention of subsidy removal, we are in full support.’’ (NAN)