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Nigerian Government clarifies leaked fiscal policy proposals unofficial, subject to reviews

Mr. Olawale Edun, Honourable Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy

*The Federal Government of Nigeria urges the public and the media to disregard the two draft policy documents and cease further discussions on them, stating they are not approved official documents

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Presidency has said the two fiscal policy proposals currently in circulation are not approved official documents of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Federal Government said the documents are all policy proposals that are still subject to reviews at the highest level of government.

Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Thursday, June 6, 2024, stated that the attention of the Presidency had been drawn to the fiscal policy documents in circulation being given wide coverage by the mainstream media and social media platforms.

Onanuga explained one of the documents titled, “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024” is being shared as if it were an Executive Order signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Presidential aide also noted in the statement that the other proposal, a 65-page draft document titled, “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), “contains suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy.”

Onanuga disclosed President Tinubu only received a copy of the draft Tuesday this week.

The statement noted: “We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them.

“None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“They are all policy proposals that are still subject to reviews at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it.”

Onanuga further quoted Mr. Olawale Edun, Honourable Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, to have said: “It is important to understand that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised.

“We assure the public that the official position on the documents will be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed.”

The government said the fallout of the leaked unofficial documents have been reports second-guessing government’s policy on customs tariffs, fuel subsidy, and other economic matters.

Ẹdun said: “The government wants to restate that its position on fuel subsidy has not changed from what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared on 29 May 2023.

“The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed.”

The Coordinating Minister of the Economy further clarified: “As previously stated by government officials, including myself, President Tinubu announced the end of the fuel subsidy program last year, and this policy remains firmly in place.

“The Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of this removal and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians.”

He also stated:

“Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, which is significantly impacted by transport costs.

“With the implementation of our CNG initiative, which aims to displace high PMS and AGO costs, we expect to further reduce these costs.”

The Minister averred:

“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations.”

The statement added: “We call on the media to always exercise necessary checks and restraints in the use of documents that do not emanate from official channels, so that the members of the public are properly informed, guided and educated on government policies and programmes.”

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