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Nigeria collapsed the day Tinubu removed petrol subsidy - Babachir Lawal

Lawal said the removal of subsidy on petrol without a cabinet in place led to the collapse of the Nigerian economy.

Nigeria collapsed the day Tinubu removed petrol subsidy - Babachir Lawal

Speaking shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2023, Tinubu announced the end of the controversial petrol subsidy regime.

His pronouncement had an immediate impact on the price of the product, which jumped from ₦180 to over ₦600.

The President later admitted that the subsidy announcement was done on the spur of the moment as it wasn't part of his prepared speech.

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Speaking during a discussion on the state of the nation on Trust TV's Daily Politics, the former SGF said the presidential announcement on May 29 plunged the country into an economic quagmire.

According to Lawal, announcing fuel subsidy removal without a cabinet in place was a grave mistake by Tinubu.

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He noted that the decision led to increased cost in transportation, which is basically the engine of business for both the rich and common man in Nigeria.

He stressed that the absence of a cabinet and Federal Executive Council to address the fallouts of the far-reaching decision triggered the total collapse of the country.

I can only repeat what I said before. I’ve spoken on this before. First of all, I did say one time you came into government on the day you were inaugurated.

“After swearing in you embark on the first major policies that are very impactful on the lives of the society. It is like a cowboy, or macho man removing subsidy. At that time, he didn’t have a minister of planning, that should plan the outcome, and the consequences to take care of.

“You don’t have a minister of finance who will calculate the impact of this society. You did not even have the federal executive council that will approve that, you have nothing. As at that time, nobody to advise, nobody to break out ‘what ifs,’” Lawal said.

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Speaking further, the former SGF said, “So immediately after that inauguration, Nigeria collapsed. It is like a balloon. Nigeria fell down. It deflated completely. Immediately transportation (fare) tripled,” he noted.

“That week! I used to buy animal feed for my cows from Zaria, I used to pay N270,000 per truck. Immediately that week, I couldn’t buy anymore, because transportation alone was going to cost me N1 million,” he explained from his personal experience as a farmer.

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“I couldn’t afford it because the cost of fuel just jumped up. Everything. Last week I bought some equipment for my farm. I wanted to transport it from Kano, they were asking me to pay N3 million to transport three tractors and only to be put in a trailer. One trailer carrying three tractors! Everything has gone up. So that policy alone crashed everything.

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