President Bola Tinubu said Nigeria can not continue to be a Father Christmas to the neighbouring countries in the guise of subsidy on the premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.
Tinubu stated this at a meeting with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) at Aso Rock on Friday.
The President noted that his administration took the right decision by removing the subsidy on petrol.
He described the subsidy as an elephant that could have brought the country to its knees because it is struggling to pay salaries.
He said Nigeria should not be Father Christmas to neighbouring countries by providing them subsidised petrol.
Tinubu said, “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.
“You have paid attention to the subsidy removal. Why should we in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be Father Christmas to neighbouring countries, even though they say not everyday is Christmas?
“The elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees is the subsidy. A country that cannot pay salaries and we say we have potential to encourage ourselves.
“I think we did the right thing.”
The President, however, said his administration would listen to counsel.
He said, “We are all ears. We are ready to listen at any given time. I promise you an open-door policy and that is the way I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send to me at any given time any concern that you might have.
“We may not have it right 100 percent of the time but we must get it right 90 percent of the time for this country.”
Also speaking at the meeting, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Saad Abubakar, said the traditional rulers are in full support of Tinubu’s administration.
He said, “We are 100 percent in support of your government and we believe in the will of the Almighty Allah you will move this country forward.”