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Despite Recent #Minister Lokpobiri “Clarification”, Tinubu Govt To Spend N5.4tn on Petrol Subsidy in 2024

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In a recent comment on petrol subsidy status, the Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, attempted to addressed the ongoing debate about fuel subsidy in Nigeria under President Bola Tinubu administration.

Contrary to allegations in some quarters, Lokpobiri emphatically stated, “I can confirm to you that subsidy is gone; officially, there is no subsidy; I want to make it clear that there is no subsidy in the country today”.

But on the contrary a document on a new economic stabilisation paper hints at N5.4tn fuel subsidy bill.

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The document contradicts President Bola Tinubu’s earlier declaration that the fuel subsidy had been eliminated during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

Minister Lokpobiri had clarified that Tinubu’s statement was misunderstood, as the previous government did not allocate any provision for subsidy in the 2023 budget.

However, he acknowledged that strategic interventions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) could occur when necessary. The NNPCL has a statutory responsibility to step in if fuel-related issues escalate.

The minister had also highlighted positive developments, saying that Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption has decreased, while daily oil production has increased. Additionally, the Port Harcourt refinery is expected to resume operations by the end of the third quarter of this year.

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But in the surprising turn of events, the federal government finally admitted that Nigeria will be spending up to N5.4 trillion on oil subsidies in 2024.

The revelation came during a presentation by Wala Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy on an Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), designed to address key challenges affecting the reform initiatives and stimulate development in various sectors of the economy.

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According to several media sources, Minister Wale Edu said in a draft copy of the ASAP presented that, “At current rates, expenditure on fuel subsidy is projected to reach ₦5.4 trillion by the end of 2024. This compares unfavourably with ₦3.6 trillion in 2023 and ₦2.0 trillion in 2022.”

The plan to be implemented within one to six months is targeted at tackling inflation and further increase the purchasing power of the populace.

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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