President Tinubu says the panic-buying that ensued as a result of his statement on subsidy removal is needless.
While delivering his inaugural presidential speech on Monday, May 29, 2023, President Tinubu said ‘subsidy is gone’. The statement immediately caused fuel price hike across the country.
Before the speech, the pump prices of petrol in Lagos ranged between ₦185 and ₦210.
Hours after Tinubu’s speech about subsidy removal, petrol price jumped to N250 per litre. By evening, it had increased to ₦350 per litre in some parts of the state.
Barely 24 hours after Tinubu’s inauguration, a video of a fuel station selling petrol at ₦600 per litre emerged on social media.
The situation prompts Nigerians to express their frustration on Twitter as many blamed petrol marketers for taking undue advantage of Tinubu’s statement, while others accused the president of making a pronouncement on fuel subsidy removal without having any plan in place.
Reacting to the fuel crisis that greeted his one-day old administration, the president in a statement by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Media Centre said the panic-buying that ensued as a result of his statement on subsidy removal is needless.
Tinubu said his declaration that “subsidy is gone” is not an action of his administration. He said he only re-echoed the plan that had already been put in place by the previous administration of former president Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “The public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration.
He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.
“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the Federal Government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect”.
Tinubu further assured Nigerians that his government would re-channel the funds previously devoted to the payment of subsidies into better investments that would cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor of the poor.