Fuel Subsidy Removal Saved Nigeria From Going Bankrupt, President Tinubu Tells World Economic Forum

Tinubu said this on Sunday during a panel session at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

President Bola Tinubu has said that despite the economic difficulties a greater number of Nigerians are facing, the removal of fuel subsidy by his government was a necessary action as it has saved Nigeria from going bankrupt.

Tinubu said this on Sunday during a panel session at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

President Tinubu, who announced the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol in his inauguration speech on May 29, 2023, said at the forum that the fuel subsidy removal had reset Nigeria’s economy and the country’s pathway to growth.

He further told the World Economic Forum that fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria has engendered accountability, transparency and physical discipline for the country, adding that it is more important to focus on what direction the country should go.

He said, “For Nigeria, we are immensely consistent with belief that the economic collaboration and inclusiveness is necessary to engender stability in the rest of the world.”

Speaking further, Tinubu who was one of the panelists, “Concerning the question of the subsidy removal, there is no doubt that it was a necessary action for my country not to go bankrupt, to reset the economy and pathway to growth.”

“It is going to be difficult, but the hallmark of leadership is taking difficult decision at the time it ought to be taken decisively. That was necessary for the country,” he said.

Tinubu said, “Yes, there will be blowback, there is expectation that the difficulty in it will be felt by a greater number of the people, but once I believe it is their interest that is the focus of the government, it is easier to manage and explain the difficulties.

“Along the line, there is a parallel arrangement to really cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on the vulnerable population of the country. We share the pain across the board, we cannot but include those who are vulnerable.

“Luckily, we have a very vibrant youthful population interested in discoveries by themselves and they are highly ready for technology, good education committed to growth. We are able to manage that and partition the economic drawback and the fallout of subsidy removal

Also speaking on naira devaluation and exchange rate unification, President Tinubu said that the decision of his government became necessary to allow the Naira to compete favourably with other world currencies.

He said, “The currency management was necessary equally to remove the artificial elements of value in our currency. Let our local currency find its level and compete with the rest of the world currency and remove arbitrage, corruption and opaqueness. That we did at the same time.

“That is a two-engine problem in a very template situation for the government, but we are able to manage that turbulence because we are prepared for inclusivity in governance and rapid communication with the public to really see what is necessary and what you must do.”

On the World Economic Forum, Tinubu said, “This forum is equally valuable for us to share experiences and share the hope of the future.

“What is missing, and I’m glad the Kingdom relies on the wind of collaboration and inclusiveness, the capital formation that is necessary to drive the economy like agriculture, food security, innovation, technology advancement, must be an inclusive programme of the entire world

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