Keyamo Says It’ll Be Illegal For Tinubu To Reinstate Fuel Subsidy Regime | #NwokeukwuMascot
|Mr Festus Keyamo|
Former Minister of State for Labour Mr Festus Keyamo has lambasted Nigerians advocating for the retention of subsidy, explaining that there was no provision for subsidy in the 2023 Appropriation Act starting from June 2023.
The former minister noted that the new administration of President Bola Tinubu inherited a regime that made no provision for subsidy in the budget.
According to Keyamo, the Petroleum Industry Act which is now extant also has no provision for subsidy.
SaharaReporters had reported that President Tinubu announced during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square, Abuja declared that “petroleum subsidy is gone”.
Tinubu said there would be no more fuel subsidy. But hours after the speech, long queues returned to filling stations across the country amid fuel scarcity occasioned by panic buying and hoarding of premium motor spirit, otherwise called petrol, by fuel dealers.
“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.
“Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” Tinubu said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the organised Labour and civil society organisations have called on the new government to rescind the decision to remove the subsidy while describing Tinubu’s inaugural speech on subsidy as irresponsible considering the rate of inflation in the country.
Reacting to the outcry of Nigerians and criticism of the government, Keyamo took to his Twitter handle to lambast those advocating for subsidy and asked them to convince Nigerian people as to why Tinubu’s administration should start what he described as “illegality” which he said “gulped $10 billion of our scarce or unavailable resources in 2022 alone.”
The former Minister argued that if the $10 billion should be injected into the economy yearly, it would jumpstart the economy to create massive jobs and even increase the same minimum wage.
He wrote: “A section of the Press is mischievously twisting the narrative to read that Tinubu’s Government has removed subsidy. That is not correct. Tinubu’s govt has merely inherited a regime where there was no provision for subsidy in the 2023 Appropriation Act as from June, 2023 and the Petroleum Industry Act which is now extant has no provision for subsidy. President Tinubu merely acknowledged this state of affairs in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square.
“So any advocate of subsidy should convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should start on a note of illegality by promising to reintroduce something which the law has taken away. They should also convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should embark on a present illegality that gulped $10 billion of our scarce or unavailable resources in 2022 alone.
“Those claiming to defend the right or welfare of workers should convince the Nigerian people that $10 billion injected into the economy yearly will not jumpstart the economy enough to create massive jobs and even increase the same minimum wage they complain about.
“That is the conversation the Nigerian people are prepared to have now.”
Similarly, a Twitter handle that is being managed for the President by a team at the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress - @NgrPresGCFR said, “The public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration. He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.
“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the Federal Government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.
“Furthermore, President Tinubu was clear about his plans to re-channel the funds previously devoted to the payment of subsidies into better investments that will cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor of the poor. This includes but is not limited to investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and increase their earning potential.”