President Buhari has explained why he defied leading economists’ advice to scrap Nigeria’s fuel subsidy.
Buhari told Bloomberg in an interview that western allies are finally realising that what looks good on paper and what has human consequences are two different things.
“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now? What is good for the goose is good for the gander!
“What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things. My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable. Boosting internal production for refined products shall also help. Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board.
“The exchange rate is still susceptible to external shocks that can suddenly and severely affect Nigerian citizens. As we step up domestic production – both in fuel (enabled by PIA) and food (agricultural policies) – the inflationary threat shall diminish, and we can move toward unification.”