Tinubu’s govt spent record N8trn on fuel subsidy in 8 months – El-Rufai



Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State says the Federal Government has been using trillions of naira to subsidize Premium Motor Spirit otherwise called fuel, despite the announcement by President Bola Tinubu that subsidy had been removed.

The former governor noted that under the leadership of Tinubu, the government has spent about N8 trillion on petrol subsidies since inception on May 29th, 2023.

El-Rufai argued that if not for subsidy payments, the price of a litre of petrol would have been much higher than the diesel that is now sold above N1,000 depending on the location compared to petrol which is between N600 and N750 per litre.

The former governor spoke in Maiduguri on Monday while delivering the lead paper at a workshop on Enhancing Skills of Government Officials in Policy Implementation and Productive Human Management Resources for Commissioners, Chief Advisers and Special Advisers, Senior Technical Advisers, to Governor Babagana Zulum, Heads or Chief Executives of Agencies and Departments, Tertiary Institutions and local government chairmen.

While delivering his paper with the theme: ‘Leadership and Public Policy: Navigating Challenges and Lessons’, he said: “The Federal Government under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu has from day one been subsidizing petrol, also known as Premium Motor Spirit, PMS. This has so far cost the present administration about N8trillion since inception on May 29th, 2023 to date.”

While speaking with Journalists after his presentation, the former governor said, “A good leader must be decisive and have the ability to make good decisions, be trustworthy, empower others irrespective of political, religious or ethnic considerations, have clear communication skills and resilient in all ramifications.

“Though it is too early to judge the present administration, it has been in government for only nine months. Leadership is work in progress. You start a policy because you are sure it is the right policy. But in the course of implementation, if you see bottlenecks, you modify, because the keyword in leadership is not ideology or anything, it is pragmatism. You are not God, only God is perfect. As a good leader when you make a policy and you start implementing, and it does not seem to work well, you should have the humility to stand back and say this is not working.

“For example, if you appoint a person to a position and he is not performing to expectation, you should have the humility to say look, I need a better person to do the job perfectly. Leadership is a continuous thing and in a term of four years, you can’t assess a government of nine months.

“But, as I also said during my presentation, the removal of fuel subsidy by the present administration is another good policy by President Tinubu. I have always supported the withdrawal of fuel subsidies. But as you can see, in the course of implementation, the government has now realized that the subsidy has to return. Right now we are paying a lot of money amounting to trillions of naira for subsidy even more than before.

“This is because the impact has been seen and the packages of support that will reduce the impact have not been effective in reducing the impact. So the federal government has to backpedal by subsidizing petrol. Many people don’t know this. If they want to know whether there is fuel subsidy or not, they should compare the prices of petrol and diesel per litre. This is because under normal circumstances, petrol is supposed to be more expensive than diesel.”

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