By Simon Akoje
An economist, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, says the Federal Government’s removal of petroleum subsidy will unlock the country’s economic prospect.
Unegbu, a former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
The economist noted that the removal of the petroleum subsidy would open up the sector for new investment.
He said the government was courageous in removing the subsidy because “it is unsustainable, especially in this era of declining revenue’’.
“Government just has to let the subsidy go and allow the forces of demand and supply to determine the price.
“ This is a principle of free market economy which drives economic growth,” he said.
He noted that regulators must be given more powers to enforce price compliance from petroleum dealers who flout the rules.
He also suggested that the various labour unions must not embark on strike over the subsidy removal because it would be inimical to the economy.
“ The union should look at the positives of the new policy and not to focus on needless strikes.
“ At the initial, the cost of basic essentials will surge but will decline after more players venture into the sector,” he said.
NAN reports that the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol was increased to N151.56 per litre with effect from Sept. 2.
This was disclosed in an internal memo and issued by the Petroleum and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) Ibadan Depot.(NAN