The Federal Government has again, said it could no longer continue to subsidize fuel and electricity under the prevailing economic conditions, assuring however, that deregulation will benefit Nigerians in the long run.
Mr. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture while interacting with online publishers in Lagos, Saturday, insisted that government is not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
He therefore, enjoined Nigerians to bear with the government, calling on the organized labour to shelve its planned strike, noting it can only bring more hardship to ordinary Nigerians.
According to the Minister, ordinary people are not the beneficiaries of the fuel and electricity subsidies, adding that deregulation will encourage more investments in the oil sector.
“The truth is that the government can no longer afford the cost of subsidy, especially under the prevailing economic conditions.
“Revenues and foreign exchange earnings by the government have fallen by almost 60%, due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector. And there is no provision for subsidy in the revised 2020
“So where will the subsidy money come from? Remember that despite the massive fall in revenues, the government still has to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects.
The federal government claims that fuel subsidy from 2006 to 2019 has gulped a whopping N10.04 trillion while electricity tariffs have been subsidized to the tune of N1.7 trillion in the last four and half years.