President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has put an end to fuel subsidy in the country hours after taking oath of office – a decision that Former President Muhammadu Buhari couldn’t make in his eight years in office
He made this known on Monday during his inaugural speech as president at Eagle square, Abuja.
He said the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy and more so, subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.
“On fuel subsidy, Unfortunately, the budget before I assumed office is that no provision is there for fuel subsidy. So fuel subsidy is gone,” he said.
“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.
“Subsidy can no longer justify its ever increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.
“We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.”
Subsidy on petrol has long been a contentious issue in Nigeria.
Previous attempts to end the petrol subsidy regime sparked protests on the streets and strike action from organised labour.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned against the removal of subsidies on petrol, citing galloping inflation and the hardship Nigerians are currently grappling with.
The NLC has also called for a fix of the nation’s ‘moribund refineries’ and tackling the corruption in the petroleum sector before calling time on the petrol subsidy regime.
But, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President African Development Bank (AfDB), held that the Fuel subsidy is crippling Nigeria’s economy.
Speaking at a lecture in Abuja on Saturday, the development bank chief stated that only the rich benefit from fuel subsidies, costing $10 billion alone in 2022.
He lamented that the annual cost spent on fuel subsidies had been mindblowing.
According to him, the federal government is funding the extravagant lifestyle of the wealthy with fuel subsidies payment.
He added that the funds spent on fuel subsidies can be channelled into the development of the private sector.