June 13, 2024

Resident Bola Tinubu expressed his intention to assist Nigerians rather than cause them harm, acknowledging the challenges faced due to the rising costs of fuel and food after his administration ended fuel subsidies. He addressed the nation in a broadcast on Monday, understanding the anxiety and uncertainty caused by the current economic hardship. Tinubu stated that he would have preferred alternative solutions if they were available, as his primary goal is to support and not harm the people and the nation he loves.

Tinubu’s acknowledgment of the economic hardship comes just two months after he assumed office and ended the fuel subsidy regime, leading to an increase in fuel prices. In his inaugural speech on May 29, he stated that the subsidy was removed, resulting in a significant rise in pump prices. To mitigate the effects of the price increase, Tinubu initially announced a $10 benefit for 12 million households, but the government later reversed this decision.

Despite projections indicating potential savings of N13 trillion from the subsidy reform over three years under Tinubu’s administration, the World Bank emphasized the importance of compensating transfers to protect vulnerable Nigerian households from the initial impacts of the subsidy reform. They warned that without compensation, higher petrol prices could push many households into poverty and force them to adopt coping mechanisms with long-term adverse consequences.

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