THE Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has asked Nigerians to decide themselves on whether fuel subsidy should continue or not.
Fashola gave the advice today while delivering his keynote address at TheNiche newspaper’s annual lecture, which held at the Muson Centre, Lagos.
The theme of the lecture was, ‘2023 Elections and the Future of Nigeria’s Democracy.’
The former governor of Lagos State, encouraging the idea of public consultation, said that the issue of fuel subsidy had been costing Nigeria huge sums of money.
He added that the matter had defied solutions so much that the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had not been able to solve the problem.
The minister said he would love Nigerians to debate on the matter for a permanent solution that would be free of any social unrest.
Fashola said, “That is the big elephant in the room. If it was purely an economic decision, it would have gone last night. But there are political and social consequences, and that is where politics and the economy come together.”
The lawyer asked the lawmakers to conduct fora to engage the people, and then take the outcome to the federal level for a decision to be made.
Agreeing with him, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, said the challenge of subsidy had long persisted but had not been confronted decisively as it should be. Rather, he said, it had only been politicised.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had, on Sunday, September 4, 2022, declared that premium motor spirit (PMS), famously known as petrol, would cost consumers a pump price of N462 per litre without Federal Government’s subsidy, according to a statement issued by the NNPCL Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad.
The company disclosed that the average international market-determined landing cost of PMS in the second quarter of this year was $1,283 per metric tonne.