- The president of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has said President Buhari did not tell anyone that the petroleum subsidy should be removed
- Lawan said the president made this known to him when he visited him on Tuesday, January 18, to tell him about Nigerians' worry about the alleged proposed subsidy removal
- The minister of finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, had said in October 2021 that the FG made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022
The Senate president said he told President Buhari about the feelings and concerns of his constituents on critical issues, including the proposed removal of subsidy.
He added that he raised the issue with the president because lawmakers were worried about the agitations and protests around the country over the move to end petrol subsidy.
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Buhari told no one to remove petroleum subsidy - Lawan
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Lawan said he was glad to inform Nigerians that President Buhari had not told anyone to remove petroleum subsidy.
“Well, it will be of interest to Nigerians to hear what I’ve come to discuss with Mr. President among several other things.
“Many of us are very concerned with the recent agitations, protests, and many citizens were so concerned, our constituents across the country are very concerned that the federal government will remove the petroleum subsidy. And for us, as parliamentarians, as legislators representing the people of Nigeria, this must be of interest to us.
“And we’ve just finished our recess, we had gone home to our constituencies and senatorial districts. And will felt the pulse of our people. And I found it necessary to visit Mr. President, as the the leader of our government and our leader in the country, to discuss this particular issue of concern to Nigerians, and I’m happy to inform Nigerians that Mr. President never told anyone that the petroleum subsidy should be removed.”
Recall that the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, had announced in October 2021 that the federal government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022 as the government looked towards complete deregulation of the sector.
She had said:
“In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry”.
Coalition declares support for fuel subsidy removal by Buhari’s govt
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the forum of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria made up of over 100 community-based organisations, and grassroots-oriented institutions on Thursday, December 2 rose up from an extraordinary meeting and backed the federal government's plan for fuel subsidy removal.
The inclusive leadership meeting, after painstaking and intellectually stimulating deliberations, resolved to comprehensively and compositely support the Buhari administration on the move, adding that the policy will take Nigeria to the realm of fulfilled potentialities.
A communique was released after the meeting signed by Comrade Friday Maduka, chairman, Forum of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria.
Remove fuel subsidy, rejig economy before 2023, Christian group tells Buhari
In a related development, a religious group, Nigeria Christian Forum, (NCF), a coalition of Protestants and Catholic faithful have declared their support for the plans of the federal government to begin fuel subsidy removal.
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According to the group, the initiative is one step the federal government must be courageous to take to salvage the nation from total collapse.
The NCF said there are indicators that are strong enough to show that, if the fuel subsidy which guzzles a whopping sum of N250 billion monthly was not removed now, Nigeria would have allowed itself affliction that would continue to have a devastating effect on its economy.