President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, by oil marketers in the country. He explained why the country has found itself in such a situation, as well as why the Federal Government cannot afford to pay fuel subsidy at this time.
The President gave the explanation on Monday at the first-year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat which held at the Conference Centre of the Presidential Villa in Abuja. “There are several negative consequences if the government should resume the business of fixing or subsidising PMS prices. First of all, it would mean a return to the costly subsidy regime,” said President Buhari who was represented at the event by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He added, “Today, we have 60 per cent less revenues; we just cannot afford the cost. The second danger 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.”
The President’s explanation comes against the backdrop of the outrage triggered by the increase in the pump price of petrol – one which was widely condemned by various individuals and groups in the country.