Babajide Ayoade, the Chief Executive Officer of Tauraf International Limited, a farm based in Iseyin, Oyo State, has said the removal of fuel subsidy would have adverse effects on the working population of Nigeria.
While speaking with journalists in Lagos, he called for the withdrawal of the new policy on fuel subsidy.
Ayoade, who is also the Laguna Balogun of Ibadaland, said those talking about subsidy removal were not thinking of the other side of subsidy removal.
He said when late ex-President, Umaru Yar’dua, became president of Nigeria, the subsidy was there but he revisited it and did a proper investigation into the cost of the subsidy.
According to him, Yar’dua was able to reduce the cost of subsidy from $1.2 billion to $400 million until he died, and everything changed thereafter.
While urging President Bola Tinubu to withdraw the subsidy removal, he said, “The first question to ask when people talk of subsidy is that what is the real cost of subsidy?
“Let us know the actual cost of it. In the real sense of it, how many cars are on Nigerian roads?
"When you remove subsidy, the common sense says you have to do salary increment.
"And if you have to face the reality of the day because everything has gone up by 200 per cent, the minimum salary will become N90,000 or N100,000 per month.”
“When you check this differential over the number of civil servants across the nation, what you will need to pay the salaries of civil servants is over $12 billion. So, where is the subsidy?”
“Now the population of civil servants and political office holders in Nigeria is just 1.8 per cent of the nation’s population. This means that 98.2 per cent will start to suffer.
“Three things will happen; you have a salary structure of say N12 million, and now, they are asking you to come and pay instance salaries N42 million as salaries.”
He noted that the economy had not been buoyant.
Speaking further, he said, “The first thing you will do is retrenchment, and you know that the private sector is the major employer of labour in Nigeria.
“And if for instance, Nigeria has a population of 30 million workers, that means 15 million people will become unemployed by way of retrenchment."
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