Tinubu Reveals That He Went Off Script To Announce Subsidy Removal

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has explained why he went off the script to announce the removal of fuel subsidy during his inaugural address to Nigerians on May 29, 2023.⁣

The President disclosed this during a meeting with members of the Nigerian community in France on Friday, June 23, 2023.⁣

Tinubu, who described fuel subsidy as a “scam” and disincentive to growth, insisted that the policy only rewarded smugglers and reduced the burden of the real cost of the commodity for some countries.⁣

This is contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Dele Alake, later on Friday.⁣

Addressing the Nigerian diaspora in France, the President revealed that his Special Adviser on Monetary Policy, Wale Edun and Alake had expunged fuel subsidy removal from his inaugural speech, “but he felt it was expedient to stop the subsidy on the first day”.⁣

“We have transport challenges, electricity challenges, infrastructural challenges and others. I let out the giant elephant of fuel subsidy without bringing down the house,’’ he said, adding, “Our diversity is our asset, if we know how to use it.’’⁣

Tinubu shocked many Nigerians during his inaugural address shortly after he was sworn in on May 29 by declaring that “fuel subsidy is gone.”⁣

The presidential pronouncement led to an instant return of queues at filling stations across the country as fuel prices soared amid hoarding by marketers. The development provoked angry reactions from Nigerians leading to calls for protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).⁣