Monday, 26 June 2023

I delayed petrol subsidy removal to allow Tinubu, APC win election — Buhari

Former President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday broke his silence on the petrol subsidy removal ‘challenge’ that he left for his successor, Bola Tinubu, saying that 

had the policy been implemented, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tinubu would have lost the last general polls.
Speaking through his erstwhile spokesman, Garba Shehu, via a statement, the ex-president however, commended the steps taken so far by the new administration in implementing the removal of petrol subsidy and attempt to unify the Naira exchange rate.
The statement, according to Shehu, was in response to persistent queries by some critics who have questioned why it took Tinubu only weeks to remove the petrol subsidy whereas Buhari didn’t do so for several years.
According to him, successive polls indicated that the ruling party would have lost the 2023 election if the Petroleum Industry Act, containing the petrol subsidy removal, was implemented before then.
In the statement titled “Buhari didn’t fail to remove subsidy “, Shehu wrote: “Why did it take the new Tinubu/ Shettima presidency weeks to remove the petrol subsidy when Buhari didn’t do so for years fails to ask the right question.
“The massive electricity subsidy. The fraudulent fertilizer subsidy. Hajj/Christian Pilgrim subsidies. Remember them?
“The diesel subsidy. The aviation fuel subsidy. LPFO. Kerosene. Cooking gas and the other subsidy policies we found in place, and put them firmly on the ground. Remember them?
“For those with short memories, many of those subsides were all in place when president Buhari was elected to office in 2015: all those in place were gone by May 2023 – including the annual fertilizer subsidy that weighed 60-100 billion Naira (that’s trillion naira in about 10 years – yes you read that right) heavy on the federal budget each year.
“So no, Buhari didn’t remove the petrol subsidy – but in vitally important stages he removed every other budget-busting, egregious, economic-growth-crushing subsidy along the way.

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