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Minister wants Nigerians to swallow 'bitter pill' of fuel subsidy removal

The minister says the Tinubu administration is also fighting poverty across Nigeria.

Yusuf Tuggar [Nigeria Embassy Germany]

The president announced the removal of fuel subsidy during his inauguration speech in May 2023, a decision that immediately impacted the prices of petrol which Nigerians primarily use for their cars and generators.

The removal has been repeatedly blamed for Nigeria's economic woes, as the government has struggled to contain inflation and the depreciating value of the naira in the foreign exchange market over the past year.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, published on Monday, March 5, 2024, Tuggar said the removal decision should have been made years ago — a common administration talking point.

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"This is a sort of bitter pill that Nigeria has to take but there are other measures that are being taken to serve as palliatives for the situation that we're facing," he said.

The minister further noted that Nigeria is not the only country facing economic challenges, and the government must make decisions for the future. He assured Nigerians that the government is doing its best to ease the situation, and is plugging all the leakages in the economy.

Tuggar, a former lawmaker, said the Tinubu administration is also fighting poverty across the country by setting up training centres, providing jobs through ICT, and providing fast-speed internet for young Nigerians to thrive.

"So these are all a lot of the opportunities but even before that, there's a social investment programme that is ongoing, that provides directly to the poorest section of Nigeria because we can't wait until the jobs are created," the former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany added.

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The 56-year-old also appealed for all tiers of government to unite to efficiently fight insecurity so Nigerians can live in peace.

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