President Bola Tinubu strongly asserted that Nigeria can no longer act as a benevolent figure to neighboring countries, likening the nation’s generosity to playing the role of “Father Christmas.”
Speaking at a meeting with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) in Aso Rock on Friday, Tinubu defended the government’s decision to eliminate the subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS), widely known as petrol.
In his address, President Tinubu emphasized that the removal of the petrol subsidy was a necessary step, as it had the potential to cripple the country’s economy and hinder salary payments.
He highlighted that Nigeria should not bear the burden of providing subsidized petrol to neighboring nations, urging a change in this longstanding practice.
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Appreciative of the attention paid to his actions, President Tinubu acknowledged the traditional rulers’ vigilance, stating, “I am grateful that you are paying attention to what I have been doing.”
Abiodun Oladunjoye, the villa’s director of information, quoted the President as saying, “Why should we in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be Father Christmas to neighboring countries, even though they say not everyday is Christmas? The subsidy was the elephant that could have brought Nigeria to its knees. A country that cannot pay salaries and yet claims to have the potential to encourage itself. I believe we made the right decision.”
Despite his resolute stance, President Tinubu emphasized that his administration remains open to receiving counsel from the traditional rulers.
He promised to maintain an open-door policy, encouraging them to voice any concerns and ideas for the country’s progress.
While acknowledging that perfection may not be achievable, he emphasized the government’s commitment to achieving a success rate of 90 percent in its endeavors for Nigeria.
In response to President Tinubu’s assertions, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Saad Abubakar, expressed unwavering support on behalf of the traditional rulers.
He reassured the President, stating, “We are 100 percent in support of your government and firmly believe that, with the will of the Almighty Allah, you will lead this country forward.”