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Tinubu defends fuel subsidy removal, says it’s necessary for long-term prosperity

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We regret voting for you, Northern Elders tell Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s President has said that the decision of his administration to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was premised on the need to ensure long-term energy security and economic prosperity of Nigeria.

A statement by Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, Deputy Director ( Press and Public Relations) said the President stated this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 7th Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES) at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, 27th February, 2024.

This is even as different sources, including the IMF have confirmed that the federal government has since reintroduced fuel subsidy.

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However, the President who was represented at the event by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, noted that the petroleum subsidy had, over the years, strained the country’s economic resources, leading to inefficiencies and, most importantly, hindering ability to invest in critical areas of energy security.

Tinubu admitted that the decision to remove the petroleum subsidy was a challenging one, but stressed that it was a step that must be taken to secure Nigeria’s energy future and foster economic growth.

He added that by removing the subsidy, “We are creating a more transparent and accountable energy sector. The funds that were previously allocated to subsidizing petroleum products are now redirected towards developing and upgrading our energy and other social infrastructure”.

“While we are immersed in energy security, let us not forget that Energy Transition is another key aspect of our discussions. We stand on the brink of a new era, where traditional energy sources are being complemented and, in some cases, replaced by cleaner and more sustainable alternatives. This transition is not only an environmental necessity but also an economic opportunity. We must leverage innovation and collaboration to ensure a smooth and just transition that will leave no one behind”, the President stated

Highlighting some of the gains of the removal of the subsidy, the President said the private sector have been encouraged to participate in the energy industry with potential of attracting more local and international investors, fostering innovation and competition that will drive down costs and improve the overall efficiency of our energy sector.

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon, Ekperikpe Ekpo, advocated for a shift towards the vast potential that lies in Nigeria’s gas sector. He emphasized that the shift towards gas was not merely an option but a necessity for the country’s economic resilience, adding that the gas industry presents a unique opportunity to diversify revenue streams, reduce dependence on oil, and create a more robust and sustainable economic foundation.

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