The president of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu said last week that by eliminating the expensive gasoline subsidy and moving to converge its various currency rates, Nigeria has saved more than 1 trillion naira ($1.32 billion) in just over two months.
In the wake of the nation’s most daring changes in decades, which labor unions claim have harmed the poor, Tinubu is under pressure as prices increase.
Union leaders said that a meeting between the administration and unions to attempt to prevent a walkout scheduled for Wednesday concluded late on Monday without an agreement.
In a television interview, Tinubu justified his decision to eliminate the fuel subsidy, claiming that only a small number of elites benefitted from it and that the measures would help the economy grow.
“In a little over two months, we have saved over a trillion naira that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy which only benefited smugglers and fraudsters,” the Nigerian Head of State disclosed.
The president also noted that he was mindful of the difficulty brought on by the subsidy’s removal and that he was “monitoring the effects of the exchange rate and inflation on gasoline prices,” adding that he would step in if and when required.
Following the president’s newly implemented initiatives, the World Bank predicted last month that Nigeria may save as much as 3.9 trillion Naira this year alone, but it also issued a warning about rising short-term inflationary pressures.
Tinubu is under pressure from the unions to provide small firms and people with relief. In order to increase employment, Tinubu unveiled a 500 billion naira plan that includes public transportation buses and low-interest loans for farmers and small enterprises.
The Nigerian government announced earlier on Monday that it had distributed grains to families, had instructed public school administrators to postpone raising tuition, and would offer buses to reduce the cost of student transportation. Additionally, it intends to create a fund for infrastructure development using subsidy savings.