- President Bola Tinubu hit the ground running on Monday when in his inaugural speech, he reiterated a promise he made to Nigerians while campaigning for presidency
- Upon delivering his speech, oil marketers kicked the president for pronouncing that fuel subsidy is gone, and they closed many filling stations and inflated the price of petrol
- However, if Tinubu succeeds in removing the fuel subsidy, Bureau De Change operators are likely to be his next target as regards reforms
President Bola Tinubu kept his word by hitting the ground running, starting from his inaugural speech, where he restated his 2023 general election campaign promises.
Governments in the past have talked about the threat and danger of the fuel subsidy to Nigeria's economy but have been unable to remove it as marketers have been quick to increase the commodity's price and make it scarce, mostly leading to protests from citizens.
However, Tinubu's administration seems determined to remove the fuel subsidy and ensure that it never appears in Nigeria's economic narrative again.
Latest about Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima, Fuel Subsidy, Bureau de Change
Therefore, if Tinubu defeats the subsidy regime, the next target of the new government could be the Bureau de Change industry, another system that benefits only a few and negatively affects the country's exchange rate.
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Bureau de Change operators are a set of influential Nigerians who trade dollars at the "black market". They get dollars in large quantities from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), using influence and lobbyists, and resell them at higher prices on the black market.
As of Wednesday, May 31, the official exchange rate of the naira is 461.5 to $1, while it is traded on the black market for N745.
Why Tinubu will look into Bureau De Change operators
On his first day in office, Vice President Kashim Shettima, while addressing journalists at the state house on Tuesday, May 30, noted that they envisaged a fierce resistance to the new policy, but the new government has the will to break the record.
According to Shettima, fuel subsidies must go, and multiple exchange rates must stop. He added that if Nigeria did not end the subsidy, the subsidy would end Nigeria.
Will Tinubu win the fight against subsidy removal and multiple exchange rates?
Whether Tinubu will become the victor in the battle he has set for himself and his administration lies on the shoulder of time.
This is because the Bureau de Change system is as old as the fuel subsidy, if not older, and it has become so normalised that fighting it would look like de-employing a particular set of people in society.
Tinubu did not remove fuel subsidy: Keyamo drops breakdown
Legit.ng earlier reported that a former minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, has dismissed the media report that President Bola Tinubu removed the fuel subsidy.
Keyamo, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the new president did not remove the fuel subsidy and that the report is mischievous.
The senior advocate explained that the 2023 budget did not allocate subsidy beyond June 2023, and that's what Tinubu reiterated.