“Fuel subsidy had to go” – Tinubu tells Nigerians

July 31, 2023
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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his broadcast address to Nigerians on Monday, July 31, 2023, emphasized that the fuel subsidy had to be removed as it was no longer sustainable. 

In his address, Tinubu emphasized that the economic reforms he is championing aim to correct the existing inequities that primarily favour only the rich.

One significant measure taken was the removal of the fuel subsidy, alongside the implementation of other fiscal policies.

Recall that the President during his inaugural speech on May 29th announced the removal of the fuel subsidy which caused widespread reactions as the cost of transportation skyrocketed due to higher fuel prices. 

The President during his statewide broadcast said about the fuel subsidy removal: 

  • 0,"335559684":-2,"335559685":720,"335559991":360,"469769226":"Symbol","469769242":[8226],"469777803":"left","469777804":"","469777815":"hybridMultilevel"}” data-aria-posinset=”1″ data-aria-level=”1″>“For several years, I have consistently maintained the position that the fuel subsidy had to go. This once beneficial measure had outlived its usefulness.
  • The subsidy cost us trillions of Naira yearly. Such a vast sum of money would have been better spent on public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing and even national security. Instead, it was being funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals.” 
  • “The preceding administration saw this looming danger as well. Indeed, it made no provision in the 2023 Appropriations for subsidy after June this year. Removal of this once helpful device that had transformed into a millstone around the country’s neck had become inevitable.” 

Exchange Rate Unification 

The President also addressed the decision to unify the exchange rate, citing that the multiple exchange rates caused the diversion of funds meant for job creation and other economic benefits. He said: 

  • “Also, the multiple exchange rate system that had been established became nothing but a highway of currency speculation. It diverted money that should have been used to create jobs, build factories and businesses for millions of people.
  • Our national wealth was doled on favourable terms to a handful of people who have been made filthy rich simply by moving money from one hand to another. This too was extremely unfair.” 
  • “ I had promised to reform the economy for the long-term good by fighting the major imbalances that had plagued our economy.
  • Ending the subsidy and the preferential exchange rate system was key to this fight. This fight is to define the fate and future of our nation. Much is in the balance.” 

Economic Relief 

The President also emphasized to Nigerians on the current economic challenges and he highlighted relief plans to reduce the impact of these policies on individuals and businesses. He said: 

  • “Our economy is going through a tough patch and you are being hurt by it. The cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it. Households and businesses struggle.
  • Things seem anxious and uncertain. I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not.
  • If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help not hurt the people and nation that I love.”
  • “What I can offer in the immediate is to reduce the burden our current economic situation has imposed on all of us, most especially on businesses, the working class and the most vulnerable among us.” 

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