Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant, media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari has said his principal cued the removal of petrol subsidy. Thus, he didn’t fail to remove the subsidy.
The spokesman said one of the reasons for not removing the subsidy was because Buhari didn’t want to jeopardise Bola Tinubu’s chances of becoming president.
“We must be politically honest with ourselves. The Buhari administration in its last days could not have gone the whole way because the APC had an election to win. And that would have been the case with any political party that was seeking election for another term with a new principal at its head,” Shehu tweeted.
“Poll after polls showed that the party would have been thrown out of office if the decision as envisaged by the new Petroleum Industry Act was made.”
The spokesman who reflected on the subsidy removal in a statement, Monday said it is important to consider the broader context of subsidy reforms. He cautioned against comparing the actions of former president Buhari to the previous administration’s failure to remove the subsidy for years.
“The Tinubu/Shettima administration has demonstrated commendable timing in their decisions to remove fuel subsidies and unify the currency. He further praised their adept management of the aftermath of these decisions, successfully avoiding any crisis,” the spokesman tweeted.
Shehu also highlighted that the subsidy issue extends beyond petrol and encompasses various areas such as electricity, fertilizer, Hajj/Christian Pilgrim, diesel, aviation fuel, LPFO, kerosene, cooking gas, and other subsidy policies that were prevalent during President Buhari’s tenure.
While acknowledging that President Buhari did not remove the petrol subsidy, Shehu noted that his administration achieved significant progress in eliminating other economically burdensome subsidies that hindered growth. It is crucial to recognize the broader trajectory of subsidy reforms under President Buhari’s leadership, as stated in Shehu’s tweet.
He tweeted: “The decision to remove subsidies, as in our case – and we believe in all situations – was not for the President to take all by himself.
“That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves – and all those who have conveniently forgotten – that the Buhari administration had been on this pathway from the very beginning in 2015.
“Removing subsidies for the naira and PMS was cued and put on hold. Look for example the Petroleum Industry Act. The important decision was kept for a better time.
“It could not have come at a time when tensions were high in the country and no responsible leader would have added fuel to the fire.
“In the view of many-including those in the security circles- only a new administration with goodwill that fills a warehouse can attempt this, and here now comes the wit and grit of the Tinubu government.”