Lai Mohammed: No retreat, No surrender on hike of fuel price, electricity tarrif

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

 

With a looming shut down of the economy by the organised Labour beginning Monday, September 28, in protest against the hike in pump price of fuel and electricity tarrif,  spokesperson  of the Federal Government, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has declared that the  Federal Government could no longer continue to bear the burden of subsidising services/products in the two sectors.

The Federal Government insisted that the freebies were simply impossible under the prevailing economic conditions.

it,  however, assured Nigerians that the deregulation of both sectors would benefit them in the long run.

Mohammed, who is the Minister of Information and Culture stated this position while interacting with online publishers in Lagos on Saturday.

He explained that the federal government was not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, and enjoined them to forebear.

The Minister  called on the organized labour to shelve its planned strike, noting it could only bring more hardship to ordinary Nigerians.

According to the Minister, “ordinary people are not the beneficiaries of the fuel and electricity subsidies”, adding that “deregulation will encourage more investments in the oil sector.”

He reiterated further: “The truth is that the government can no longer afford the cost of subsidy, especially under the prevailing economic conditions.

“Revenues and foreign exchange earnings by the government have fallen by almost 60%, due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector. And there is no provision for subsidy in the revised 2020 budget.

“So where will the subsidy money come from? Remember that despite the massive fall in revenues, the government still has to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects.”

The federal government claims that fuel subsidy from 2006 to 2019 gulped a whopping N10.04 trillion while electricity tariffs were subsidised to the tune of N1.7 trillion in the last four and a half years.

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