Monday, January 9, 2012

United Nations supports President Goodluck Jonathan on subsidy removal

The United Nations (UN) yesterday, said the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan on fuel subsidy removal was a 'bold and correct policy.'

The UN's position was made known when the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Ban kimono, Prof. Jeffery Sachs, visited the president at the State House, Abuja yesterday.

Sachs said the funds realised from the subsidy removal would go a long way in fast-tracking rapid infrastructural development in all sectors of the economy.

The UN envoy also commended President Jonathan for the conditional grants being made available to local governments for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, describing it as "one of the most innovative schemes of using national resources for local government development".

President Jonathan said the country's 2010 capital budget was funded with borrowed money, the equivalent of which was used to fund the subsidy last year, adding "no meaningful infrastructural development is possible in such an environment.'

He said that his administration was committed to making significant and enduring interventions in the areas of power generation and supply, roads, railways, capacity building and health, adding that these sectors have already been opened to private sector participation.

The President expressed appreciation to Prof. Sachs for his concern for the development of Nigeria and Africa.

The removal of the subsidy has led to an increase of over 100 per cent in petrol prices across the country, with an accompanying multiplier effects on transportation fares and prices of goods and services in the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan said deregulation of the petroleum sector was a necessary change that Nigeria must make if government will have a significant impact in the lives of its citizens.

The Moment

Related stories: President Goodluck Jonathan's address to the Nation on fuel subsidy removal 

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Video - Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks on fuel subsidy crisis

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