Nigeria: Why Buhari Hasn’t Removed Fuel Subsidy – Keyamo

Minister of state for labour and employment and the director for the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Festus Keyamo (SAN) has given reasons for President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in removing fuel subsidy.

He said it was because of the president’s sympathy for vulnerable Nigerians. Keyamo said Buhari feels that certain measures have to be put in place to cushion the effect on the poor before removing fuel subsidy.

But there are indications that Nigerians may face tough times next year, as Keyamo hinted that the process leading to fuel subsidy removal will commence in 2023.

Keyamo who spoke yesterday during the unveiling of The Progressives Forum (TPF) in Abuja noted that conversation on removal of subsidy would begin next year, even as he said the federal government now relies on the revenue from Customs, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and others to pay salaries.

The minister acknowledged that petroleum subsidy was no longer sustainable, insisting that it is eating deep into the country’s economy.

He said, “As a progressive party, we believe there must be intervention in the lives of the very poor and the middle class. That is why we have conditional cash transfers to the very poor. That is the philosophy of President Muhammadu Buhari, that is the philosophy of APC.

“If it were to be other government existing today as I speak with you, there would be no subsidy now. But President Muhammadu Buhari said before we remove it, we need to put some measures in place to cushion the effect on the poor. Because there is no longer any justification to retain subsidy as I speak with you today.”

Keyamo noted that even in developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, the prices of petroleum have increased more than four or five times.

His words: “We are in government; we cannot hide it again from the masses, from the people. We must all keep saying that subsidy has eaten deep into our country, into our economy.

“Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is no longer remitting money to Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). So, all the money they earn goes to subsidy. So, government has to rely on revenue from Customs, from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), from others to pay salaries and other things.”

Unveiling the PTF, Keyamo pledged to work with the forum, which he described as the new face of the APYF, in the campaign for the 2023 polls, saying it forms the lifeblood of the APC.

“I have listened to Barr Ismaeel espouse the objectives of ‘The Progressives Forum’ TPF, and followed the journey of the APYF and its activities for the past 9 years even before the emergence of this great party the APC. I have worked quite closely with a lot of you on several committees and know Barr Ismaeel, the founder of this platform, personally. I can confidently say this forum, like very few others in our party, forms the lifeblood of our party the APC,” he said.

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