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N5.4trn Subsidy: Leaked Fiscal Policy Proposals Are Unofficial – Presidency

President Bola Tinubu

The Presidency has clarified that two fiscal policy documents circulating widely in mainstream and social media are not official.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, stated this in Abuja on Thursday. He noted that one document, titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024,” is being incorrectly presented as an executive order signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The other document is a 65-page draft titled “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP),” which contains suggestions for improving the Nigerian economy.

Onanuga explained that President Tinubu received a copy of the draft on Tuesday. “We urge the public and the media to disregard these documents and cease further discussions on them. Neither is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are policy proposals still under review at the highest levels of government, with one clearly marked as a ‘draft’,” he said.

Quoting the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, he emphasized that policy-making involves multiple drafts and discussions before finalization. “We assure the public that the official stance on these documents will be communicated after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed,” Edun added.

Edun also addressed speculation about government policy on customs tariffs, fuel subsidy, and other economic matters. He reiterated that the government’s position on fuel subsidy remains unchanged from President Tinubu’s declaration on May 29, 2023, stating, “The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion provisioned for it in 2024, as widely speculated.”

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He further clarified that the Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of subsidy removal and easing living costs for Nigerians. The strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, significantly impacted by transport costs, and implementing the CNG initiative to reduce PMS and AGO costs.

“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations,” Edun stated.

He urged the media to exercise necessary checks and restraint in using unofficial documents to ensure the public is properly informed, guided, and educated on government policies and programs.