The Federal Government has blasted the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki for criticising the economic policy of President Bola Tinubu.
Obaseki, while addressing journalists in Benin on Thursday, said the removal of fuel subsidy and foreign exchange reforms of Tinubu’s administration led to increased hardship for Nigerians.
“Now subsidy is gone, the exchange rate is being aligned. The consequence is that the weakest and most vulnerable in the country will carry a huge part of the burden of these policies.
“I’m shocked that people who campaigned around the country, saying that they would remove subsidies, had no clear plans on what to do after subsidy removal. They don’t know what to do and how to support those who will be victims of subsidy removal.”
Reacting to the governor’s remark in a statement on Thursday, the minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated that Obaseki’s comments regarding the APC-led Federal Government’s decisions on fuel subsidy and foreign exchange market reforms overlooked the broader economic picture.
“While it is common for leaders to have divergent views, it’s crucial to align criticism with reality and to premise discourse on tangible results.
“It’s well documented that Nigerians, State Governors across party lines, and global institutions, including the World Bank and IMF along with various economic experts, have consistently advocated for the removal of fuel subsidy because of the fiscal distortions and burden it has placed on the economy.
“This burden includes many months of zero accretion to the Federation account by the NNPC, which left states and local governments with less money from FAAC, as a result of payment for fuel subsidy, which the national oil company regularly charged to the Federation account.
“For perspective, Edo State, under Governor Obaseki’s leadership, has notably benefited from the subsidy removal, which is evident in the more than doubling of the FAAC allocation between June and July 2023 to Edo State more than it had ever received pre-fuel subsidy removal.
“Our advice? Rather than delving into narratives that do not provide the complete picture, the focus should be on how Governor Obaseki will be using available resources to drive impactful projects that genuinely uplift the people of Edo State.
“We are still at a loss on what could be the trigger for Governor Obaseki to issue such blatantly false accusations against the Federal Government.”
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