By Aliyu Dangida
President Bola Tinubu is considering a “temporary subsidy” on petrol as crude oil prices and foreign exchange rates continue to soar, TheCable understands.
There is yet no final decision, presidency sources told The Cable, but the proposal is “firmly on the table” as Nigerians continue to groan under harsh economic realities following the removal of petrol subsidy in May 2023.
Already, labour unions have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if the petrol price further surges.
The Kenyan government, on Monday, re-introduced fuel subsidies to curb soaring prices of petrol, kerosene, and diesel in the country.
The move came after months of violent anti-government protests over the burden of high cost of living.
According to a presidency official, the “realistic” amount of petrol consumed in the country is now known following the removal of subsidy on Tinubu’s inauguration, hence the amount spent on subsidy “can now be controlled”.
On Monday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited said there are no plans to hike pump prices despite the rise in crude oil prices, landing cost, and fall in the value of the naira.
This is understood to be an option for Tinubu to keep the current prices, although private importers have not made a definite pronouncement on any possible adjustments.
But speculations around another increase in the pump price of petrol (currently at over N600) have caused tensions across the country, leading to panic buying in the early hours of Tuesday.
Since Tinubu announced the removal of the petrol subsidy, Nigerians have had no respite from price hikes.
Foreign exchange challenges, coupled with the unrestrained slump of the naira — Nigeria’s local currency — have led to a sustained upward trend, in the prices of goods and services.
On Monday, TheCable reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to implement new measures to stabilise the naira against the dollar.
Weeks after Tinubu was inaugurated as Nigeria’s elected president, his administration — already fraught with legitimacy issues — quickly introduced several policies in a bid to revive the economy.
But with the current economic realities, it appears that these policies are not yet yielding the expected results.