GOVERANCE

No Provisions To Pay N5.4m For Fuel Subsidy In 2024- Presidency Replies Atiku

 

The Presidency has debunked claims doing the rounds that it is making provisions to pay the sum of N5.4trn for fuel subsidy in 2024.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Abubakar Atiku, had on Wednesday challenged President Tinubu to stop what he claims is a deceit of Nigerians about his administration’s true position on petrol subsidy.

He said contrary to Tinubu’s public posturing about petrol subsidy removal, the administration had been secretly paying trillions of naira for petrol subsidy. According to him, subsidy payment under Tinubu’s watch is likely to hit N5.4trn this year.

However, a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, on Thursday, reiterated that the era of fuel subsidy had ended.

“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 being widely speculated and discussed,” the statement read in part.

The Presidency restated the declaration by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, when he said: “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”.

It said the Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of the removal and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians.

“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.

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

The Presidency also gave its perspective on two fiscal policy documents currently doing the rounds.

It said that although one of the documents titled, Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024, was being shared as if it were an executive order signed by President Bola Tinubu, it was still at the proposal stage.

He added that the other document, a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), containing suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy, is still in the draft stage, and was just received by President Tinubu on Tuesday.

“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are all policy proposals that are still subject to review at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it” the statement added.

The Presidency quoted Edun when he said “It is important to understand that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised,” assuring the public that the official position on the documents, will be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed.

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