President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday explained why he ignored the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) advice to remove fuel subsidy in the country.
The President, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg News, said the removal of fuel subsidy was becoming increasingly untenable despite the persistent calls by the Bretton Wood institutions for its removal.
The federal government had in January suspended the removal of fuel subsidy and amended the 2022 budget to provide funds for that purpose.
It later approved N3 trillion for the payment of fuel subsidy this year.
He said: “Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now? What is good for the goose is good for the gander!
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“What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things.
“My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable.”
The President also stressed the need for increased local production of refined petroleum products.
“Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board.
“The exchange rate is still susceptible to external shocks that can suddenly and severely affect Nigerian citizens.
“As we step up domestic production – both in fuel (enabled by PIA) and food (agricultural policies) – the inflationary threat shall diminish, and we can move toward unification,” Buhari added.