The Tinubu administration says the removal of subsidy on petroleum had saved the country from worse economic situations.
This is coming despite the rising cost of living and inflation soaring in the aftermath of the move.
President Tinubu announced “Subsidy is gone” on his inauguration day. Successive administrations had over the years swapped crude for gasoline that it then subsidised for its domestic market, causing a huge drain on revenue, and foreign exchange and contributing to ballooning debt.
The announcement of subsidy withdrawal moved the price of petrol from N190 to over N600 per litre with the cost of living rising daily.
But Tinubu’s minister of information and national orientation, Mohammed Malagi, on Thursday argued that the removal of the subsidy was in the best interest of the country.
He spoke on Channel TV’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily.
“You’re premising your argument on the fact this problem just started yesterday. The foundation of our economy had taken a beating a long time ago. The substructure of our national economy has been one that cannot hold a meaningful substructure on it.
So, it is important that Nigerians recognise that the President and his team would have to go back to reset that and that is why from day one, he said, ‘Look, subsidy issue has to go’. He had to expect that there would be this pain, of course. He anticipated that Nigerians would encounter some difficulties. But it would be worse if that subsidy did not go. It would have been difficult to carry out any meaningful development. We needed to free up resources.
He added that security agencies are, however, working to bring those who benefited from the subsidy regime to book.
“Of course, everybody is being investigated. Security agencies are doing their jobs in that direction,” he said.