Head or tail, Nigeria will Have to Pay a Price- Adesina

The presidency has said the nation would keep borrowing as it has suspended the removal of fuel subsidy.

The Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily.

According to him,“ Head or tail, Nigeria will have to pay a price.” 

“It’s either we pay the price for the removal in consonance and conjunction with the understanding of the people, but if that will not come, the other cost is that borrowings may continue, and things may be difficult fiscally with both the states and the Federal Government.

“You know how much could have been saved if the subsidy was removed and how it could have been diverted to other areas and spheres of national life. But if you do not go that way now – and I agree that it may not be auspicious to go that way, then we have to pay a price.”

The Senate had last year approved some loan requests by the government., which included $6.1 billion in July and the $16,230,077,718 and €1,020,000,000 loan requests in November, respectively.

The presidential aide noted that oil prices had fluctuated globally for years for different reasons. With the advent of COVID in 2019, which has affected other facets of the world, the prices keep fluctuating. 

Adesina noted that the price declined as low as $30 per barrel but later rose above $80 per barrel.

Speaking further,  Adesina said the suspension of the fuel subsidy removal has nothing to do with the coming general elections.

 Being a pre-election year, he said the government needs to be very careful of its actions and decision. He rejected the claims that the Buhari led administration had proposed to extend the removal of fuel subsidy by 18 months was intended to booby-trap the next president.

“That was not the intention, the intention was also stated – the timing is not right, it will exacerbate the hardship of the people, and the President genuinely cares,” Adesina said.

“Politics is a part of our lives, but elections will be one event in the life of the country. When elections come, they go, the country continues. This fuel subsidy, whether it stays or goes, is going to have a serious impact on the economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association had blasted the All Progressives Congress-led government for suspending the planned petrol subsidy removal as an election strategy.

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