Suspension of subsidy removal: Nigeria will borrow to fund fiscal overhead — Femi Adesina

Oredola Adeola

Following the criticism that greeted Federal Government’s announcement to suspend the removal of fuel subsidy indefinitely, Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that Nigeria will continue to borrow to fund fiscal overhead.

Adesina during an interview on Channels Television.on Wednesday made this known while defending the position of the Federal Government on the matter.

He said, “Head or tail, Nigeria will have to pay a price,” he said.

“It’s either we pay the price for the removal in consonance and in conjunction with the understanding of the people, but if that will not come, the other cost is that borrowings may continue, and things may be difficult fiscally with both the states and the Federal Government.

“You know how much could have been saved if the subsidy was removed and how it could have been diverted to other areas and spheres of national life. But if you do not go that way now – and I agree that it may not be auspicious to go that way, then we have to pay a price.”

Buhari’s spokeperson noted that oil prices have been fluctuating globally for years as a result of one reason or the other, particularly due to COVID since 2019.

He also noted that the price witnessed a decline as low as $30 per barrel, but later rose above $80 per barrel..

Despite political reasons attributed to the government’s decision Adesina said politics has nothing to do with it.

He said, ” The government’s suspension of the removal is a valid decision, but is this done because of elections next year? No.

“It is done because as the minister (of finance) stated, the timing is not auspicious, inflation is still high. In the past eight months, we saw inflation reducing but the last month, it went up again; further consultations need to happen with all the stakeholders,” Adesina noted.