The Northern Elders Council has expressed support for the partial removal of fuel subsidy.
According to the group, the long term benefits of the decision outweigh the short term pains associated with it.
Chairman of the council, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai said this in a telephone interview with our Correspondent, in Abuja, on Thursday.
He explained that he has personally been a strong supporter of withdrawal of fuel subsidy for the last twenty years.
The elder statesman explained that this position was informed by the fact that ordinary Nigerians have not benefitted from the subsidy regime because the actual beneficiaries have been marketers and their collaborators in successive governments.
Yakassai said, “Marketers and smugglers have been the main beneficiaries of the policy.
“Besides, as long as the petroleum products price would be cheaper in Nigeria than in our immediate neibouring countries, nobody can stop smuggling of the products from our country to our neighbours.
“If the government removes the subsidy, the money that would be saved as a result can be put to better use in dealing with more pressing problems bedeviling our nation such as problems of endemic unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure, modernisation of agriculture, addressing the need for robust education and healthcare delivery.”
The former Presidential Laison Officer further explained that above all, Nigeria will save a lot of resources lost to corrupt individuals and corporations who have together conspired to deny Nigerians the better life they deserve.