The Federal Government Monday defended the hike in fuel and electricity tariffs, saying it remains the lowest in the West Africa sub region.
Information Minister, Lai Mohammed in a statement in Abuja said from 2006 to 2019, feul subsidy gulped N10.413 trillion.
He noted that with the price of crude on the rise, the price of petrol locally was also bound to increase, hence the latest price of N162 per litre.
“If, perchance, the price of crude drops again, the price of petrol will also drop, and the benefits will also be passed on to the consumers. The angry reactions that have greeted the latest prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is, therefore, unnecessary and totally mischievous.
“The government can no longer afford fuel subsidy, as revenues and foreign exchange earnings have fallen by almost 60%, due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector. Yet, the government has had to sustain expenditures, especially on salaries and capital projects. Even though we have acted to mitigate the effect of the economic slowdown by adopting an Economic Sustainability Plan, we have also had to make some difficult decisions to stop unsustainable practices that were weighing the economy down.”
Mohammed stressed that the cost of the fuel subsidy is too high and unsustainable.