President Mohammadu Buhari said his administration refused to remove the oil subsidy despite the pressure from the international community because it was not attainable.
The President disclosed this in an interview with the BLOOMBERG, adding that his administration has lifted the nation’s economy from the doldrums through the stabilization of infrastructure, oil, and gas.
The President revealed that the IMF and World Bank and many leading economists have put pressure on his administration to remove the fuel subsidy and to unify the exchange rate even when most of the advanced economies of the world are implementing the fuel subsidies.
He said his administration had wanted to remove the subsidy but after several months of consultations and research with the stakeholders, it discovered that the policy was not sustainable and practicable and unattainable.
He added that instead the administration sees reason in boosting internal production for refined products, which he stated shall also help.
“Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board.” He said.
“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now?
“What is good for the goose is sauce for the gander! What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things.
“My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable. Boosting internal production for refined products shall also help.
He said the administration has boasted the revenue and domestic productions of the country’s economy growth in the last seven years.
Speaking on the economy, Buhari stated that even though his administration’s economic policies in trying to boost domestic production have been criticized by Financial Times, and the Economist for trying to de-globalize and re-localize food production and boast manufacturing, he has been able to achieve structural transformation.
“For years we have been criticized by the likes of the FT, the Economist, and others for supposedly mistaking attempts to de-globalize and re-localize food production and boost manufacturing
“Now with the war in Ukraine breaking global food supply chains “Davos Man” is in retreat as the energy crisis makes countries everywhere think again about energy independence and security.
“We have spent our two terms investing heavily in national road, rail, and transport infrastructure set to unleash growth, connect communities, and lessen inequality.
“This is structural transformation. It may not show on standard economic metrics now, but the results will be apparent in good time.” He stated.