President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the increase of the price of fuel on the coronavirus pandemic noting that there will be negative consequences if the government fixes or subsidizes the price of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol.
He made this known during the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat which held recently at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
Buhari who was represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo stated that the resulting impact of the corona virus pandemic which has affected the world economy compelled the government to make far-reaching adjustments that may cause initial pain but will pay off on the long run.
Further buttressing his point on the negative consequence that will occur if the price of PMS is subsidized, he stressed that, it would lead to a costly subsidy regime of which the country cannot afford the cost; since at the moment, Nigeria has 60% less revenues.
Second point he gave was that there will be a potential return of fuel queues which has thankfully been a thing of the past under his administration. In addition, the country at this dire time does not have the resources to continue this way and it will be grossly irresponsible to borrow to subsidize a generation and distribution which are both privatized.
Furthermore, President Buhari assured that the Federal Government is extremely mindful of the pains that this increase meant at this time and the sacrifice made by Nigerians isn’t taken for granted. He assured that the Federal Government will continue to seek ways and means of alleviating the pains caused, especially for the most vulnerable in the country.
Also, he noted that the Federal Government will remain alert to its responsibilities to ensure that marketers do not exploit the citizens by increasing the price of PMS arbitrarily. As a matter of fact, this is the role the Federal Government will take up through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.