Atiku Challenges Tinubu to Come Clean on Fuel Subsidy Payment

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday challenged President Bola Tinubu to come clean on the payment of the controversial petrol subsidy by his administration.

In a late night statement, Atiku said that the continued denial by the federal government on the payment of oil subsidy will not help the government and Nigerians.

He said so far, the payment of oil subsidy payment by the Tinubu-led federal government had reached N5.4 trillion in 2024, when compared to the N3.6 trillion spent in 2023

He said: “If the subsidy regime had been characterised by opaqueness, what would we say of a situation where the subsidy is still being paid under the cover without Nigerians in the know?

“Like millions of Nigerians, I was shocked to learn through media reports that the government is still supporting downstream consumption. Now we know that expenditure on fuel subsidy may reach N5.4 trillion in 2024, compared to the N3.6 trillion spent in 2023, the same year that Tinubu claimed to have abolished fuel subsidy

“I wish to restate that Nigeria is not working, and what we have had in a little over a year is a cocktail of trial-and-error economic policies. Paying subsidies and lying about it is nothing to brag about. Nigerians deserve better than this deception,” he said.

Going down memory lane, the former vice president said that Tinubu on his inauguration on May 29, 2023, announced the abolishment of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as fuel.

“Ever since, it has been a bragging right of Tinubu and officials of his administration. I had in my statement reviewing the one year of the Tinubu administration urged the government to come clean on the actual position of the subsidy policy.

“These were my exact words: ‘…provide clarity on the fuel subsidy regime, including the fiscal commitments and benefits from the fuel subsidy reform and the impact of this on the Federation Accounts.

“It is curious that since April 2024, fuel queues have mounted at many filling stations across Nigeria, and the infamous ‘black market’ has sprouted in several states.

” How much PMS is being imported and distributed, and at what cost? What is the implicit subsidy?” Atiku asked.

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