Keyamo Blast Nigerians for Criticizing Fuel Subsidy Removal

Festus Keyamo, a former minister of state for labor, has criticized Nigerians who support keeping the subsidy.

The former minister pointed out that Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a budget that had no provisions for subsidies.

Festus Keyamo, a former minister of state for labor, slammed Nigerians who argued for the continuation of subsidies, pointing out that the 2023 Appropriations Act did not include any provisions for subsidies beginning in June 2023.

The former minister pointed out that Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a budget that had no provisions for subsidies.
Keyamo claims that the current Petroleum Industry Act does not provide any provisions for subsidies.

According to our previous reportage by ParallelFacts, Bola Tinubu said that “petroleum subsidy is gone” during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square in Abuja.
There would be no more gasoline subsidies, according to Tinubu. However, there was a shortage of fuel due to panicked purchases and stockpiling of premium motor spirit, also known as petrol, by fuel dealers, which resulted in long lines at filling stations across the country hours after the speech.

“We applaud the outgoing administration’s decision to phase out the fuel subsidy regime, which has progressively favored the wealthy over the poor.

“With resources running out, subsidies can no longer support their rising expenditures. Instead, we will redirect the money to better investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and employment that would significantly benefit millions of people’s lives, Tinubu stated on Monday.

The controversial new government has been urged to reverse its decision to eliminate the subsidy, and civil society organizations have criticized Tinubu’s inauguration speech on the subject as being reckless given the nation’s high rate of inflation.

In response to the outcry from Nigerians and criticism of the government, Keyamo slammed those who support subsidies on Twitter and urged them to persuade Nigerians to support what he referred to as “illegality” that “gulped $10 billion of our scarce or unavailable resources in 2022 alone.”

The former minister contended that injecting $10 billion into the economy each year would give it a boost, leading to the creation of numerous jobs and even a rise in the minimum wage.

“Some of the press is naughtily twisting the story to read that Tinubu’s government has removed subsidies,” he added. That can’t be right. The Petroleum Industry Act, which is still in effect, and the 2023 Appropriation Act, which took effect in June of that year, both lacked provisions for subsidies. Tinubu’s administration essentially inherited this situation. In his remarks at Eagle Square during his inauguration, Tinubu just acknowledged this situation.

Therefore, any supporter of subsidies must persuade Nigerians as to why Bola Tinubu should begin by vowing to reinstate a practice that the law has outlawed. Additionally, they need to persuade Nigerians as to why President Tinubu should continue with an illegal activity that consumed $10 billion of our limited or nonexistent resources in 2022 alone.

“Those who assert to speak for workers’ rights or welfare should persuade Nigerians that an annual injection of $10 billion into the economy won’t be sufficient to spark job growth or even an increase in the minimum wage they complain about.

The Nigerian people are finally ready to have that conversation.

The public is advised to note that Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration, according to a Twitter account managed for the President by a team at the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, @NgrPresGCFR. Given that the budget for fuel subsidies under the previous administration was only intended to cover the first half of the year, he was only expressing the status quo.

Effectively, this means that the Federal Government won’t have the cash necessary to maintain the subsidy regime by the end of June, which will result in its termination. The communication has caused unnecessary panic buying, which won’t have an immediate impact.

“In addition, Tinubu was clear about his intentions to redirect the money that had been used to pay subsidies into more profitable ventures that would lessen the impact of their removal on the general populace, particularly the poorest of the poor. This includes, but is not limited to, investments in jobs that would dramatically improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and raise their earning capacity, as well as investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare, and jobs.