Security Reports Forced President Buhari To Cancel Planned Subsidy Removal

Buhari changed the decision on the removal of the fuel subsidy after an intelligence handed over to the President by security officials showed that the protests that would accompany the subsidy removal might be far worse than the #EndSARS demonstrations in 2020.

According to PUNCH, the source said the President was eager to implement the Petroleum Industry Act which would have ensured that subsidy was removed by June and investments in the oil sector increased.

According to the source, the government was afraid that such protests would have easily been hijacked by the opposition and affected the chances of the All Progressives Congress in next year’s election.

The official added, “The police, DSS, the National Intelligence Agency and the Office of the National Security Adviser usually send security reports to the President on the impact of sensitive issues like fuel subsidy. Reports given to the President showed that the protests being planned by unions would have been 10 times bigger than the #EndSARS protests.

“Petrol price was projected to increase to about N350 if the international price of oil continues to rise. This would have increased the cost of everything and encouraged everyone to take to the streets.

“They also drew the President’s attention to the coups sweeping many African countries and how the protests could have been hijacked by the opposition. This was why the President not only delayed subsidy removal but transferred the responsibility to the next government.”

He further added that “Some ministers actually advised the President to go ahead with subsidy removal because of the potential investments that deregulation would bring. But the President could not have taken such advice. The country is currently facing insecurity in several states, people are hungry.

Outright removal of subsidy would have led to a rise in the cost of goods and protests. The alternative given to the President is to increase fuel price slightly. This could be done gradually by adding N3 or N5 periodically,”

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