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Tinubu’s govt admits to N5.4trn oil subsidy in 2024

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President Bola Tinubu’s administration said fuel subsidy is projected to gulp about N5.4 trillion in 2024 as against the N3.6 trillion budgeted for the same intervention in 2023.

This is contained in a draft copy report of the Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan (ASAP) presented to Mr Tinubu by the finance minister, Wale Edun, on Tuesday.

Though, this surprising turn of events is coming after months of repeated denials by government officials who insisted there were no subsidies.

“At current rates, expenditure on fuel subsidy is projected to reach ₦5.4 trillion by the end of 2024. This compares unfavourably with ₦3.6 trillion in 2023 and ₦2.0 trillion in 2022,” a draft copy of the ASAP presented by Edun said.

The federal government had previously maintained that it would no longer subsidise fuel costs, instead opting for a deregulation policy.

“As far as I’m concerned, the President removed the subsidy and it remains removed till today. Anybody who is saying that subsidy is being paid, it is left for the person to bring the facts and then we will talk about them,” Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum resources (Oil) categorically said in April.

Recall that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, said the fuel subsidy removal is an ongoing process that depends on a combination of factors.

He said the government is working to ensure a complete elimination of fuel subsidy in the country’s economy, adding that the policy direction of the government now focuses more on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to power energy in the country.

“Clearly, it is a combination of pivoting away from petroleum imports. Now, we are focusing more on CNG.

“It is an ongoing conversation, it is an ongoing process of ensuring that fuel subsidy that fuel subsidy is eliminated from the Nigerian economy, that is what Mr. President intent is and that is what is being worked towards,” Edun said.

 

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