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Presidency Insists Fuel Subsidy Is Gone, Labels Leaked Documents as Unofficial

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The Presidency has clarified that two trending fiscal policy documents circulating online are merely proposals and have not been approved by President Bola Tinubu. It reiterated that the fuel subsidy regime has ended, and there is no provision for a N5.4 trillion subsidy in 2024, contrary to widespread speculation.

These documents, titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024” and “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP),” surfaced online on Tuesday after a meeting between the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and President Tinubu at the State House in Abuja.

The first document aims to reduce inflation and stabilize prices, while the second seeks to accelerate economic recovery and provide relief to Nigerians.

In a statement on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, emphasized that the documents are not official and are still under review.

“The attention of the Presidency has been drawn to two fiscal policy documents in circulation that are being given wide coverage by the mainstream media and social media platforms,” Onanuga stated.

He clarified that the documents are policy proposals and are not yet approved. “We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

Onanuga highlighted that policy-making is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before finalization, as noted by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.

The presidential aide also urged the media to confirm documents from official channels to prevent misinformation about government policies.

Regarding the fuel subsidy, Onanuga reiterated the government’s stance, stating, “The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed.”

Edun confirmed that President Tinubu’s declaration on May 29, 2023, remains the government’s position. He also emphasized the government’s commitment to mitigating the effects of the subsidy removal and reducing living costs through initiatives like the CNG program, which aims to lower transport costs and, consequently, food inflation.

“The Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of this removal and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians. Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, significantly impacted by transport costs,” Edun stated.

The Presidency called on the media to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of documents before reporting, ensuring the public is accurately informed about government policies and programs.

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