Hon. Tunde Olatunji, a member of Osun State House of Assembly, has warned the Federal Government against listening to the suggestions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to remove oil subsidy.
Olatunji, a development economist and financial expert, stressed that the removal of oil subsidy as suggested by IMF, would do Nigerians and the economy more harm than the good.
It would be recalled that the IMF said in April that with the low revenue mobilisation in Nigeria in terms of tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it would be good for the country to remove fuel subsidy.
Addressing a news conference at a Joint Annual Spring meeting of the World Bank in Washington DC last month, Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, said by so doing, the country would move funds to improve health, education, and infrastructure.
Olatunji said that before the Federal Government could remove fuel subsidy, it should ensure that it strengthened the country’s refining capacity.
“Nigeria should not talk about removing fuel subsidy now until we have another arrangement in place. Removing subsidy is not rocket science. But, we must develop our local capacity for refining our products.
“Even if we are not exporting locally refined products, we can meet our domestic consumption needs and thereafter we can begin to plan on removing the subsidy.”