The removal of fuel subsidy as announced by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, has reduced the daily consumption of petrol by Nigerians from 65 million to 40 million, Vanguard reports.
This was revealed by Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, after the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Earlier, Tinubu addressed the NEC saying he would accept collaboration in governance to address the economy and improve the welfare of the Nigerian people, adding that he would not be an excuse for failure.
Bala Mohammed, the governor of Bauchi State said the government deliberated and looked at all the issues on subsidy removal, the challenges, and problems holistically and set up a small committee of the council to review and come up with a term of reference that will help to alleviate the problem of workers and other vulnerable groups.
According to him, the committee is composed of Governors of Kebbi state, as Chairman, Anambra representing the Southeast geopolitical zone. Benue North Central, Kaduna Northwest, Bauchi, representing the northeast, Cross River, South-South and Oyo state Southwest.
Speaking after the meeting, Otti said, “As part of the inaugural national economic council meeting today, the major focus was on the removal of petroleum subsidy and implied the removal of subsidy on foreign exchange, which has led to some convergence of some sort.
“The impact of these two actions definitely is increased prices. And as a way to solve the problem and reduce the shock, a presentation was made by the National Automotive Design and Development Council on the great things that are happening in the automotive industry.
“It was that about six states in the country, including Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna and Kano that have benefited from domestic production of vehicles or assembling of vehicles by Nigerian companies operating in Nigeria. And these companies include INNOSON, Maikano, Dangote Peugeot, Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria, Stallion Hyundai, Honda, Elizade/Toyota, Coscharis and Ford, Kojo Motors, Jet Systems motors.”
While he said Tinubu’s administration should be commended for its efforts to remove subsidy and still help create palliatives, Otti disclosed that the consumption of fuel has reduced in the country.
“But we must salute the courage of the current government to bite the bullet and remove it. Initially, it had reduced the consumption from about 66, 67 million litres a day to just about 40 million. And as time goes on, the consumption will continue to go down.
“We know there are implications, particularly for the poorest of the poor. And that is why this government is seriously looking at palliatives to at least deal with the shock that the poor of our society goes through,“ Otti said.