President Bola Tinubu has asked Nigerians to endure the effects of the removal of petrol subsidy.
The president said the decision was taken to “free up” resources that had “hitherto been pocketed by a few rich”.
Tinubu, in his first Democracy Day speech as president, said he gave effect to the removal of petrol subsidy by the Muhammadu Buhari administration in a bid to tackle endemic poverty in the country.
During his inaugural speech, the president declared that the petrol subsidy regime is over.
Although the president’s media team had clarified that the implementation of the policy would commence later in June, post-subsidy realities are already setting in, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited announcing the adjustment of the pump price across its retail outlets nationwide.
The development has sparked a sharp hike in the pump price of petrol, raising concerns among Nigerians.
Speaking on the issue, Tinubu said it is necessary decision to protect the country from collapsing.
“I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements,” he said.
“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country.
“For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain.
“The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.”
‘I’LL FULFILL EVERY COMPONENT OF MY MANIFESTO’
The president also assured Nigerians that he will deliver on his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda while calling on elected leaders to offer “selfless service”.
“On this year’s Democracy Day, I enjoin us all to rededicate ourselves to strengthening this form of government of free peoples that has been our guiding light these past 24 years,” Tinubu said.
“In particular, those of us who have been privileged to be elected into public offices at various levels in both the executive and legislative arms of government must recommit ourselves to offering selfless service to the people, and delivering concrete democracy dividends in accordance with our electoral promises.
“On my part and that of my administration, I pledge anew our commitment to diligently fulfilling every component of our electoral pact with the people – the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.”
The president said his administration will be faithful to truth, equity and justice, adding that he will “govern with fairness, respect for the rule of law, and commitment to always uphold the dignity of all our people”.