By Olivia Isibor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – In reaction to widespread accusations across the country for allegedly increasing the pump price of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), knowing the negative multiplier effects it would have on the poor, the Presidency, in continuation of its defence of government’s recent decision to deregulate the petroleum sector of the national economy, has stated that the hike was in the interest of Nigeria’s poor and vulnerable.
Presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu, in an interview on Channels Television on Friday questioned how many Nigerians actually benefited from low fuel charges, adding that poor Nigerians were the ones actually bearing the brunt of the subsidy regime, which favoured the rich.
“We belong to a global market system,” Mr Shehu said. “We are buying, mostly, refined products from the international markets.
“Is it fair that the taxpayer’s money . . . how many Nigerians have cars anyway? How many of them run generators in their homes that they need this fuel for? Is it fair that the farmer and the herder and all of these low-level people in our society, that the taxpayer money is taken from them and is subsidising the lifestyle of our city, urban dwellers?
“So the President is just trying to be as practical as possible on this matter.”