A leading aspirant for the President of the incoming 10th Senate and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has said with the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, there have been protests in neighbouring countries profiting from the old order.
He stated this on Monday after President Bola Ahmed had inspected a Guard of Honour at the Forecourt of the Presidential Villa in Abuja as part of activities scheduled to mark the 2023 Democracy Day celebration.
Akpabio, who said daily consumption of petrol had reduced after the removal of subsidy, added that the resources saved from the policies being implemented would be used to enhance the living standard of Nigerians.
While speaking on the gains of Democracy Day, he said: “Definitely, because, of course, you have seen the last election. That was the first cashless election in Nigeria and in spite of that, Nigerians still trooped out to bring out leaders of their choices. So, we are very excited and we know that there is hope for the future.
“We will cash in by ensuring that there is peace and then ensuring that we work towards a secured nation where everybody can sleep with their eyes closed and, of course, bring back prosperity.
We will produce what we consume and consume what we produce. We are already certain and we believe that the internal refineries are now going to kick in with the abrogation of subsidy which was a terrible canker-worm.
“I don’t know the statistics, but someone is telling me that over 69 million barrels (probably litres) a day were being consumed before the subsidy was removed, but now it has reduced to 15 million. Then the neighbouring countries are rioting because we were almost subsidizing for almost all our neighbours in West Africa.
“We were depleting our resources and we were getting poorer while they were enjoying their lives. So, today, Nigerians have hope—a renewed hope—that yes, indeed, that the resources we are going to save from the policies being taken already by this administration would be used by humanity and used to enhance the living standard of Nigerians. So, we are cashing in on this day of democracy.”
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, while commenting on the significance of the democracy day, said: “It’s a milestone for the country. We are making progress as far as freedom is concerned. It’s also a period for sober reflection when you look at the events that happened 30 years ago, the late MKO Abiola—may his soul rest in peace.
“And then we are celebrating this day, you know to commemorate that event, it is very humbling. And for us to be alive to see this happening and for almost seven times of change of baton in democracy; it shows clearly that Nigeria is moving forward in freedom, and I believe under President Bola Tinubu also in prosperity.”