The Chief Commercial Officer of Mixta Africa, Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, has said that the proposed removal of fuel subsidy may not happen in June because it would be too early for a new administration to take such a critical decision.
Akinkugbe-Filani stated this at a webinar on Nigeria’s Economic Outlook for 2023, organised by Nairametrics.
Although the major Presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections have all promised to remove the fuel subsidy, Akinkugbe-Filani said it is not what any government would want to do in the first month of assumption of office as promised by the present administration.
A monumental decision: Speaking on the federal government’s plans to end the fuel subsidy regime by June this year, Akinkugbe-Filani said:
- “Well, the operative word is being’ planned’. I don’t think that removal is happening in June because I don’t think any government that comes in in May is going to be in a position to take a fully informed decision as to removing something as monumental as subsidies in the space of a month. So, I don’t think it’s going to happen at the deadline.”
Sharing a similar sentiment, the Lead Partner at SBM Intelligence, Cheta Nwanze, said though the fuel subsidy has to go, it will be a very difficult thing to do because there are a lot of entrenched interests that would kick against it.
- “No doubt the fuel subsidy has to go. But there are two things that will stand against its full removal: One there are too many entrenched interests that will not want it to be removed. Two, Nigerians have become used to cheap petrol and it will be very difficult for them to adjust to buying it at a very high price. So, the moment you try to remove it, there will be a lot of social unrest and strike actions,” he said.
What you should know: Three of the leading Presidential candidates in the coming elections, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Bola Tinubu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have all promised to remove the fuel subsidy if elected. However, none of them has given a timeline for the removal.