Lai Mohammed says he will clarify FG’s position on fuel subsidy removal

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has promised to consult with relevant departments and ministries in order to clarify the exact federal government position on the controversy surrounding the removal of fuel subsidy in 2022.

The position of Mohammed is coming against the backdrop of the recent statement by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, when he said that President Muhammadu Buhari never directed the removal of fuel subsidy.

This was made known by Mohammed on Wednesday while briefing State House Correspondents after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.

The Vice President presided over the meeting in the absence of President Buhari who travelled to The Gambia to attend the inauguration of the country’s president, Adama Barrow.

Mohammed explained that he was going to initiate a fact-finding process to determine the state of things on the removal of petroleum subsidy following the announcement on Tuesday by Lawan, that President Buhari had not told anyone to remove fuel subsidy.

When asked to clarify the issue since the 2022 budget has no subsidy provision beyond June 2022, the minister said, “As for the removal of fuel subsidy, I think you will give me time to consult with relevant departments and ministries and I will get back to you.”

What you should know

  • Recall that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, said President Buhari confirmed to him that he has not directed anyone to remove fuel subsidy, noting that lawmakers are worried about the agitations and protests across the country on the matter, which prompted the discussion with the President.
  • Going further, he raised doubts over claims that Nigerians consume 100 million litres of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) daily, attributing such level of consumption to smuggling activities
  • The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had in October 2021, disclosed that the 2022 budget would make provision for petrol subsidy for the first 6 months alone.
  • According to her, this will be effective for the period after which it is expected that the sector would have been completely deregulated.