President Muhammadu Buhari says his government is encouraged by the support of Nigerians, and he has cited the absence of a riot when he removed subsidy on petrol.
In January 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan faced stiff citizen resistance when he removed subsidy on petrol. Owing to the public outcry, he abandoned the idea.
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, on Saturday, Buhari said this while speaking at an interactive session in Berlin with representatives of the Nigerian community in Germany.
The president said his administration would reciprocate the gesture by strengthening critical institutions needed for sustainable development and prosperity.
“We are working hard to empower our institutions especially our educational institutions,” he said.
“If you educate a person, that is the best you can do for him. But if not, you make him susceptible to religious, ethnic, negative thinking and action.
“Nigerians are virtually supporting us in our fight against corruption, security and the economy.
He referred to Rolls Royces recently discovered in the homes of certain government officials as a clear reference of the rot in society and the fact that the war against corruption in the country was working.
“There are things that are happening, and if such had happened before there would have been major riot, like the removal of subsidy on fuel,” he said.
Buhari told Nigerians in the Diaspora that it was regrettable that over the years oil marketers had colluded with banks to defraud Nigeria of much needed revenue from the commodity.
“One third of the activities of the oil marketers are fraudulent, you can see how some of us Nigerians are wicked,” he said.
“They just take the money, stamp some papers without bringing the product; and this fraudulent activity was between bankers and businessmen.”
The president declared that his administration would continue to to be “very hard on corruption,” in addition to encouraging more Nigerians to pay their taxes.
“If you work hard and get your money we will try and see how much tax you can pay us.But to take money from government and get away with it, no more,” he said.