Mustapha Audu, an entrepreneur and a Chieftain of the All-Progressive’s Congress (APC) has said that the removal of subsidy has helped to create more opportunities for Nigeria in the sector of Electric Vehicles.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, Audu explained that the immediate removal of subsidy, though, without palliatives in place, was very necessary as only a very few people benefitted from it. He said, “Less than a hundred people benefitted from 6 trillion naira. Meanwhile, Education is about 200 billion, Infrastructure is about 300 billion, Healthcare, same thing. The highest is security, which is still about 900 billion. So, the cost of fuel subsidy was more than almost every other thing in the budget combined. It makes absolutely no sense, so, it was critical removing it.
“Now, the money saved from there will be put towards palliatives, the money saved from there will be put towards even subsidizing the last mile solution. The money will be put towards investing in young entrepreneurs, people that want to start businesses, grow their businesses or expand,” giving an example of the electric vehicle market, where there were just 3 or 4 players.
He then suggested, “If the Federal and state governments were to partner and invest in these companies and build up capacities, we can take the entire market share for not just Nigeria, but for Africa. And this is what we need, new billionaires created, wealth creation, wealth generation, people that, you know, have the ability to deliver, government should invest in these people.”
Speaking on the Electric Vehicles Sector’s benefit from the fuel subsidy removal, he said, “This has created unique opportunities for Nigerians to capitalize on and to benefit. Prior to the removal of fuel subsidy, we were selling maybe, 2/3 vehicles a month, now we are selling 4/5 vehicles a day. So, you can see opportunity has been created.
“We are training Nigerians, we are creating new jobs. State governments, Federal governments are extremely excited, getting ready to get involved. You can look at the knock-on effect in terms of the environment, you know, reduction of the pollutants in the air, reduction of carbon footprints.
“Also, financially, it will help us in decarbonization. By decarbonization, you can have access to debt relief…. So as a form of reduction of debt relief and having more money to spend on Nigerians, I think the right steps have been taken. Almost every well-meaning Nigerian knows that this government has hit the ground running, and this is just the beginning.”
Speaking on Nigerians reservations on electric vehicles, he explained that the vehicles did not need to be charged constantly, but the battery could easily be charged by plugging it into any electrical outlet, and that there were built in solar panels to enable the battery to be recharged on the go. He also explained that the vehicles are even easier to maintain than fuel powered vehicles, as they did not have multiple parts that needed maintenance, and they had trained electricians who would easily fix the problems of the electric vehicles when the need arises, therefore, making more job opportunities. He said that he does not see problems, instead, “what we see is opportunity.”