The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has decried the fuel subsidy regime by the Federal Government, saying it only benefits the rich.
Speaking during the presidential inauguration lecture in Abuja on Saturday, Adesina said the continued payment to subsidise petroleum products is killing the Nigerian economy.
According to him, fuel subsidy cost the economy of Africa’s most populous nation $10 billion alone in 2022.
He explained that Nigeria keeps borrowing for what shouldn’t be borrowed for, advising that such money should be channelled to national development.
“The place to start therefore is to remove the inefficient fuel subsidy. Nigeria’s fuel subsidies benefit the rich, not the poor, fuelling theirs and the government’s endless fleet of cars at the expense of the poor,” he stated.
“Estimates show that the poorest 40% of the population consume just 3% of petrol.
“Fuel subsidies are killing the Nigerian economy, costing the economy of Nigeria $10 billion in 2022. That means that Nigeria is borrowing what it doesn’t have to borrow”, he said.
Rather than spending billions on crude oil, the AfDB boss called on the Federal Government to support private-sector refineries as well as modular refineries for efficiency and competitiveness.
The move, according to him, is necessary to drive down the pump prices of petroleum products.