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Why Buhari couldn’t scrap fuel subsidy payments since 2015 –Aide

President Muhammadu Buhari

*Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, throws more light on key factors responsible for the government’s inability to remove the controversial fuel subsidy before now

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has explained the President could not remove fuel subsidy till this day.

Adesina, who stated this while featuring on ‘Politics Today’, a Channels TV programme monitored Wednesday night in Lagos, 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.”

It is, however, recalled that President Buhari had described the fuel subsidy regime as a fraud.

Prior to his election as President in 2015, Buhari had pointedly questioned the justification behind retaining fuel subsidy, as he described the controversial payments as a fraud.

Economic and social factors responsible for retaining subsidy, by Adesina

However, about eight years after, the Muhammadu Buhari administration recently announced the subsidy payments removal would come into effect June 2023 after he must have completed his two terms in office.

Adesina, however, blamed the President’s inability to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol on economic and social factors.

The presidential aide stated: “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 also said that petrol subsidy had stayed longer than required.

According to him, almost every Nigerian has now come to the realisation that it must come to a stop.

Minister confirms stoppage of fuel subsidy by June

Meanwhile, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, during a public presentation and breakdown of the 2023 Appropriation Act Wednesday, January 5, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, disclosed that payment of fuel subsidy would stop by the end of June this year.

Ahmed noted that in the 2023 fiscal period, the Federal Government made provisions of N3.36 trillion for fuel subsidy payment to cover the first six months of 2023.

The decision is in line with the 18-month extension announced early 2022, said the Minister.

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