President Bola Tinubu sharply criticized fuel subsidies on Friday, describing them as a “scam” that inhibits growth and benefits smugglers while effectively subsidizing fuel costs for other countries.
These comments were made during a meeting with Nigerians residing in France, as reported by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication, and Strategy, Dele Alake.
The President explained that his advisors had initially omitted the subject of fuel subsidy removal from his inaugural address, still, he deemed it crucial to eliminate the subsidy from day one.
This meeting marked President Tinubu’s first public discussion following his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, during which he declared the end of fuel subsidies.
His announcement led to a near-instant increase in fuel prices and hoarding, inciting calls for protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
These reactions occurred despite former President Muhammadu Buhari’s earlier efforts to terminate fuel subsidy payments by June.
President Tinubu assured the attendees of his commitment to revitalizing the education and health sectors.
He also confirmed that ongoing economic reforms would be sustained and broadened, aiming to alleviate families grappling with poverty and insecurity.
His remarks came just over a week after signing the Students Loan Bill into law.
In a dialogue with the Nigerian community in France, President Tinubu pledged to develop and implement creative policies in sectors directly affecting Nigerians’ livelihoods, like electricity, sports, and energy.
The President assured that the interests of Nigerians would always be prioritized in discussions with international communities, governments, and organizations on global issues such as climate change, energy transition, food security, trade, security, and diplomacy.
President Tinubu acknowledged the country’s ongoing challenges with transportation, electricity, and infrastructure.
He notably highlighted his decision to remove fuel subsidies, referring to it as releasing “the giant elephant of fuel subsidy without bringing down the house.”
Despite political divisions, the President promised to promote unity and prosperity for all Nigerians, reiterating his commitment to implement reforms for a better nation.
In closing, Nigeria’s Ambassador to France, Kayode Laro, and several other attendees expressed their gratitude and support to President Tinubu for his visionary leadership and dedication to economic reform.