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There’ll be consequences if we subsidise petrol prices, says Buhari

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President Mohammadu Buhari on Monday warned of dare consequences if his administration resumes the business of fixing or subsidising Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.

He said a return to the old order will force the resumption of the scenario that had characterised the country but now a thing of the past.

The President spoke in his address at the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat for Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and top government functionaries, held at the State House Conference Centre, Aso Villa.

“There are several negative consequences if Government should resume the business of fixing or subsidizing PMS prices. First of all, it would mean a return to the costly subsidy regime. Today we have 60% less revenues, we just cannot afford the cost,” President Buhari said.

The second danger, President Buhari said, “is the potential return of fuel queues which has, thankfully, become a thing of the past under this administration.

“Nigerians no longer have to endure long queues just to buy petrol, often at highly inflated prices. Also, as I hinted earlier, there is no provision for fuel subsidy in the revised 2020 budget, simply because we are not able to afford it, if reasonable provisions must be made for health, education and other social services. We now have no
choice.”

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event, President Buhari assured that his administration will remain to its sundry responsibilities, adding that his government was now faced with the task of working to prevent exploitation of the citizens as well as arbitrary price hike by marketers.

“The role of government now is to prevent marketers from raising prices arbitrarily or exploiting citizens. This was why the PPRA made the announcement a few days ago setting the range of prices that must not be exceeded by marketers. The advantage we now have is that anyone can bring in petroleum products and compete with marketers, that way the price of petrol will keep coming down.”

President Buhari who lamented the recent adjustment in the country’s electricity tariff said that the government was poised to address the lingering power sector challenge which has remained a top priority for his administration.

“The other painful adjustment that we have had to make in recent days is a review of the electricity tariff regime. If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply. So, the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration.

“Protecting the poor and vulnerable, while ensuring improved service in the power sector, is also a major priority for Government. And our policies, like the social investment programmes and other socio-economic schemes to benefit Nigerians.


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