President Bola Tinubu on Monday said his decision to remove a popular petrol subsidy would impose an extra burden on citizens but this would free up money for education, regular power supply, transport infrastructure and healthcare.
The subsidy had kept petrol prices cheap for decades in Nigeria, but it became increasingly costly when the president announced the total removal of the subsidy after he was sworn in as president.
Petrol prices have tripled angering unions and causing a spike in transport costs and subsequently leading to the high cost of living. It has also affected small businesses and millions of households who rely on petrol generators for power due to intermittent electricity supply.
In his first public comments since announcing the petrol subsidy removal after his swearing-in on May 29, president Tinubu said Nigerians should bear the decision to “save our country from going under.”
“I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain,” he said, in a broadcast to mark Democracy Day.