Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Peter Obi, has once again condemned the subsidy policy of the Federal Government.
As far as Mr Obi is concerned, the country will be better off if the government used the funds that go into subsidy in providing better education for citizens.
Mr Obi spoke about the issues during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.
“I have said it categorically, we are paying for inefficiency,” he said.
In defending his criticism of the subsidy payments, Mr Obi also accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of coming up with bogus policies on health and education.
He said, “Go and check the just presented 2019 budget. Health is N341bn and education is about N450bn.
“So, if you put health and education which is the most critical component of the development of any economy together it is N800bn when you are paying over a trillion (naira) in subsidy. It is unacceptable.”
When it was suggested that stopping the subsidy would mean higher fuel prices, he restated his position that the government was ‘paying for inefficiency’.
“If you remove it (subsidy), I can assure you that within a year of efficient management of that process, the price would be what it is today if not less.
“Part of what we are paying today is the demurrage they pay at the ports. If a vessel comes into our ports to discharge it takes weeks.”
Should Mr Obi and Atiku Abubakar succeed in ousting President Buhari, he said the right thing to do is to tackle the inefficiency.
The PDP VP candidate is confident that without subsidy and effective management of the processes, the worst that could happen is that Nigerians would only pay higher for the product temporarily.
He said, “If they have to pay more temporarily, it would come down. When we were talking about the telephone, for example, we know where it started.
“Today, it is almost free. Of course, when you start it, it might be a little more. But if you follow it through and do the proper thing, I can convince you the price will come down. What we are paying today is for inefficiency, period. It is like that in everything.”
To further back his position, Mr Obi said it takes two weeks for trailers that get into the Apapa port.
“So, a trailer that will charge you to bring out your goods from Apapa Port, instead of charging you N200, 000 will charge you almost a million because it takes him two weeks to go in and about a week to come out. For three years, we couldn’t even clear out trailers from Apapa port to Ikorodu. It doesn’t make sense.”