‘Social consequences’ — Femi Adesina explains why Buhari didn’t remove petrol subsidy

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Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, has explained why his principal didn’t remove petrol subsidy.

 

Speaking during a Channels Television interview on Wednesday, Adesina said the government has to weigh its options carefully before making any decision.

 

In January 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan faced stiff resistance when he attempted to end subsidy on petrol. Owing to the public outcry, he abandoned the idea.

 

Buhari had in 2015 said there was no good reason to remove fuel subsidy. He had said the removal of fuel subsidy would add to the economic woes of Nigerians.

 

However, the federal government recently announced that it will stop the payment of fuel subsidy in June 2023.

 

Adesina explained that the subsidy wasn’t removed due to “economic and social factors”.

 

“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,” Adesina 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.

 

“It’s a phase the country must pass through and has passed through and that phase is coming to an end.”

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