Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has given reasons his principal could not remove fuel subsidy in his two terms in office.
Fidel Info reports that Adesina said this in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
Recall that the Buhari government since its inception could not remove subsidy until now even after describing it as a fraud.
Adesina said, “Each time there is an effort to fight the fraud in the subsidy regime, you have to contend with labour, you have to contend with the people. The government needed to weigh its options because of the social consequences in it.”
During his presidential campaign in 2015, Buhari questioned the rationale for continuing the fuel subsidy.
But seven years later, the Buhari administration declared that the elimination of subsidies will take place in June 2023, when he would have served his two terms in office.
Adesina attributed the failure of his principal to eliminate the subsidies on economic and social causes.
He said, “In the beginning, his (Buhari’s) position was: what was subsidy really? But over the years it became evident that the country was bleeding, the economy was bleeding, there was a lot of hemorrhage which needed to be stopped and the time came and that time is now,” Adesina said.
According to Adesina, the petrol subsidy had stayed longer than required.
He added that almost every Nigerian has now come to the realisation that it must come to a stop.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, during a public presentation and breakdown of the 2023 Appropriation Act in Abuja, on Wednesday, disclosed that payment of fuel subsidy will stop by the end of June 2023.
Ahmed noted that in the 2023 fiscal period, the government made provisions of N3.36 trillion naira for fuel subsidy payment to cover the first six months of 2023.
According to the minister, this move was in line with the 18-month extension announced early 2022.