Trial-and-Error Policies – Atiku Slams Tinubu’s Gov’t for Secretly Restoring Fuel Subsidy

Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar has condemned the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu for secretly reinstating fuel subsidies, despite publicly claiming to have abolished them.

Atiku’s remarks come after the federal government revealed plans to spend N5.4 trillion on fuel subsidies in 2024, a good increase from the N3.6 trillion spent in 2023.

Atiku in a statement released on social media said he expressed shock and disappointment at the government’s deception.

He said Nigerians deserve better than “trial-and-error economic policies” and lies about subsidy payments.

He urged the government to provide clarity on the subsidy regime, including fiscal commitments and benefits, and to be transparent about the impact on the Federation Accounts.

He wrote: “President Bola Tinubu, at his inauguration on May 29, 2023, announced the abolishment of the subsidy on PMS, popularly known as fuel.

“Ever since, it has been a bragging right of Tinubu and officials of his administration.

“I had in my statement reviewing the one year of the Bola Tinubu administration urged the government to come clean on the actual position of the subsidy policy.

“These were my exact words: ‘…provide clarity on the fuel subsidy regime, including the fiscal commitments and benefits from the fuel subsidy reform and the impact of this on the Federation Accounts.  It is curious that since April 2024, fuel queues have mounted at many filling stations across Nigeria, and the infamous ‘black market’ has sprouted in several states. How much PMS is being imported and distributed, and at what cost? What is the implicit subsidy?’

“If the subsidy regime had been characterised by opaqueness, what would we say of a situation where the subsidy is still being paid under the cover without Nigerians in the know?”

The former Vice President’s statement is a response to the government’s recent admission that fuel subsidy expenditure is projected to reach N5.4 trillion by the end of 2024, despite claims of abolishing the subsidy regime in May 2023.

Politics Nigeria reports that the government’s Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan report revealed that the subsidy bill averages N450 billion monthly.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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