By Godwin Oritse
Stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry have expressed divergent views on the recent announcement by President Bola Tinubu that subsidy on fuel will be stopped.
In an interview with Vanguard, President of the Center for Marine Surveyors in Nigeria, Engr. Akin Olaniyan, said removal of fuel subsidy remains a welcome development and urged President Tinubu to harness the gains of fuel subsidy removal toward massive infrastructure development in the country.
He said: “We wholly support the removal of subsidy; it is a good idea. Statistics have shown that the only beneficiaries of subsidies were the super-rich Nigerians. They have been milking this country for so long, past governments were arm twisted and blackmailed against subsidy removal.
“The removal will free the government from spending humongous amounts of money every year which directly or indirectly goes into pockets of foreign interests and their Nigerian collaborators.
“By freeing the government from paying these monies, it will help the government to enhance its developmental programmes for its citizens. If the gains of subsidy removal are well managed, then we should see some worthwhile development that will make life easier for Nigerians.”
However, the President of the Master Marina Association of Nigerian, MMAN, Captain Tajudeen Alao, seems to disagree that fuel subsidy removal was a good decision.
He stated: “With the removal, cost of production will increase unless government finds a way to subsidize production by lowering charges and tariffs; and unless there is a deliberate decrease in tariffs and charges, there will be agitation from maritime workers.”
Also speaking, the Acting National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Mr. Kayode Farinto, called for caution, adding that the removal of the subsidy could culminate in high prices of goods and services.