The Presidency on Sunday defended President Muhammadu Buhari over the removal of fuel subsidy, pointing out that though it had long been seen as the right thing to do, previous administrations lacked the courage to take the action.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) in Abuja, pointed out that Buhari was taking both popular and unpopular decisions as a leader because he has the courage to do so as the circumstances dictate.
The statement noted that subsidy removal had long been seen as a game-changer by successive administrations but the courage to implement the reforms was lacking.
It said more than the expectations of critics, history will be kind to Buhari for eliminating the evil of corruption embedded in subsidies.
While the Presidency noted the argument of critics as to the timing of the subsidy removal, it admonished that what President Buhari needs now is the support of all including the opposition.
The statement read: “The All Progressives Congress, APC came to power in 2015 defeating an incumbent administration amidst very high expectations from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Five years on, the administration has worked hard to meet many expectations, but still, there are certain tough decisions which had to be taken to put back the country on the path of sustainable development.
“To stop the mismanagement of taxpayer money, eliminate corruption associated with subsidies on petroleum products, power, fertilizer among others, the administration took the decision to implement long-delayed reforms, withdraw and allow the market to determine their prices.
“Subsidy removal in these sectors had long been foreseen by successive administrations as game changers in search of solutions to move forward with the nation’s development. These are reforms that are necessary and overdue.
“Blueprint upon blueprint, timeline upon timeline had come and gone but the courage to take bold decisions was not there.
Over the last few days, one claim acquiring a potent resonance with the online community, sections of the labour movement.