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Buhari Never Instructed Anyone To Remove Fuel Subsidy – Senate President Tackles Finance Minister

January 19, 2022

He explained that he told Buhari about the feelings and concerns of his constituents on critical issues, including the proposed removal of subsidy.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said President Muhammadu Buhari did not direct anyone in his administration to implement the removal of petroleum subsidy.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, in October 2021 had announced 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.


According Zainab, in 2022 budget, they only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, as they were looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry.

However, Lawan on Tuesday while replying to the finance minister’s claims, and speaking with newsmen after meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, noted that Buhari had not told anyone to remove petroleum subsidy.

He explained that he told Buhari about the feelings and concerns of his constituents on critical issues, including the proposed removal of subsidy.

Lawan said, “Well, it will be of interest to Nigerians to hear what I have 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 have just finished our recess; we had gone home to our constituencies and senatorial districts. And we felt the pulse of our people.

“And I found it necessary to visit Mr President, as the leader of our government and our leader in the country, to discuss this particular issue of concern to Nigerians, and I am happy to inform Nigerians that Mr President never told anyone that the petroleum subsidy should be removed.”

The Senate President affirmed that the subsidy could not be transferred to citizens, expressed doubt over the reported consumption of 100 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) per day in the country.

“I know and I agree that the subsidy is very heavy. But I think we must never transfer the burden to the citizens. I believe that we need to look at the quoted figure of maybe 100 million litres that people claim we are consuming. Is it real? I mean is it either under-recoveries of subsidy? Is it really 100 million litres per day? How on earth are we consuming that?

“We need to look at this critically and see how we can find the truth. Because I am not convinced that within the boundaries of Nigeria we are consuming 100 million litres, probably neighbouring countries may be benefiting from this. Can’t we do something about it?

“It is a failure on us if we are not able to control it, this particular aspect of smuggling of the petrol and then in return, push the burden to the ordinary citizen.”

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