Senate President Ahmad Lawan says President Muhammadu Buhari did not direct the removal of petrol subsidy.
Speaking with reporters after a meeting with Buhari at the Aso Rock villa on Tuesday, Lawan said many citizens are concerned about the plan of the federal government to remove subsidies.
“Well, it will be of interest to Nigerians to hear what I’ve come to discuss with Mr. President, among several other things,” the senate president said.
“Many of us are very concerned with the recent agitations, protests, and many citizens were so concerned, our constituents across the country are very concerned that the federal government will remove the petroleum subsidy. And for us, as parliamentarians, as legislators representing the people of Nigeria, this must be of interest to us.
“We have just finished our recess, we have gone home to our constituencies and senatorial districts. And we felt the pulse of our people.
“I found it necessary to visit Mr. President, as the leader of our government and our leader in the country, to discuss this particular issue of concern to Nigerians, and I’m happy to inform Nigerians that Mr President never told anyone that the petroleum subsidy should be removed.”
The senate president said the position of Buhari is different from the position of Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning.
In October, the finance minister said the federal government would only cater for subsidies on petrol in the first six months of 2022.
“In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidies for the first half of the year; the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry,” Ahmed had said.
She had said the federal government would provide a N5,000 transportation grant to poor Nigerians to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.