May 27, 2024

Onanuga Defends Tinubu’s Removal of Fuel Subsidy, Citing Financial Crisis



Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, has defended President Bola Tinubu’s decision to remove the petrol subsidy on the day of his inauguration, asserting that it was in the best interest of Nigerians. Responding to criticism from former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, Onanuga explained that the urgency was driven by the severe financial troubles facing the country.


Onanuga clarified that President Tinubu’s announcement aligns with the plan to remove the subsidy by the end of June 2023, as outlined in the budget left behind by former President Muhammadu Buhari. He emphasized that the absence of a provision for the subsidy in the budget and the dire financial state of the nation prompted swift action.


Highlighting the challenges, Onanuga pointed out that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) couldn’t import petrol due to a N4 trillion debt owed by the federal government. He recalled the fuel scarcity and soaring prices before Tinubu’s inauguration, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the situation.


Onanuga urged Nigerians to recall the circumstances, emphasizing that the fuel scarcity had driven prices to as high as N700 – N800 in some areas. He asserted that Tinubu’s prompt action was necessary to prevent further deterioration and avert a more disastrous economic situation.


While acknowledging the pain caused by the measures, Onanuga insisted they were essential to reset the economy and stabilize the country’s financials. He highlighted the challenges, such as the significant portion of the budget allocated to debt servicing, and argued that Tinubu’s actions were crucial to addressing the prevailing economic crisis.

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