• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

N5.4trn fuel subsidy is false – Presidency

Bayo Onanuga and his atavistic longing for military rule

The presidency has denied documents insinuating that the federal government still spends N5.4 trillion on fuel subsidies, asserting that the costly venture ended the very day President Bola Tinubu made the pronouncement.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser to the president on Information and Strategy in a post on his X account on Thursday noted that none of the documents which are now viral were approved by the federal government, adding that they were policy proposals under review.

One of the documents is titled Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024 while the other, a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), which contains suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy were said to have been leaked.

Onanuga urged the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them.

“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 is being widely speculated and discussed,” Onanuga quoted Wale Edun, the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy.

“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,” Edun had said.

The coordinating minister of the economy had said the present focus of the government is to perfect its CNG initiative which will reduce the cost of transportation and in turn ease conveying food items.

This, according to him, will see food prices come down and food inflation decelerate, availing the vulnerable the needed ease to take off the shocks of the subsidies.

“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.

“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations,” Edun was quoted to have said.