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We expect fierce opposition from fuel subsidy beneficiaries – Shettima



Vice President Kashim Shettima has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to tackling the long-standing issues of fuel subsidy and multiple exchange rates.

He disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday in his first interview after resuming work at the Presidential Villa .

He emphasised the urgent need to address these challenges for the betterment of the Nigerian nation.

Shettima referred to President Bola Tinubu recent pronouncements on the fuel subsidy stating that it is crucial to either remove the fuel subsidy or risk its detrimental effects on the country.

He highlighted that in 2022 alone, a staggering $10 billion was spent on subsidizing the extravagant lifestyle of the upper class, with only minimal benefits trickling down to the poorest 40% of Nigerians.

Shettima acknowledged that unveiling such a complex issue would face fierce opposition from those who have been benefiting from the subsidy scam.

Nevertheless, Vice President Shettima expressed confidence in President’s strong will and conviction to push through necessary reforms.

He assured the public that the president has noble intentions for the nation, which would become apparent in due time.

Shettima pledged that the issue of fuel subsidy would be squarely addressed, urging for swift action to be taken.

Additionally, the vice president mentioned the government’s plan to collapse the multiple exchange rates into a single unified rate.

He acknowledged that this was another significant challenge that needed to be tackled.

Shettima promised that the government would soon unveil its agenda on both fronts, implying that the president would take the lead in articulating the government’s vision.

Vice President Shettima emphasised the importance of a united front, stressing that there can only be one captain steering the ship.

He reiterated his loyalty to the president and expressed his unwavering commitment to working harmoniously with him for the greater good of the nation.

Shettima drew upon his longstanding personal relationship with the president, spanning over a decade, to assure Nigerians of their collaborative efforts.

He said “the president has already made pronouncements yesterday on the issue of the fuel subsidy. The truth of the matter is that it is either we get rid of subsidy or the fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian nation.

“In 2022, we spent $10billion subsidizing the ostentatious lifestyle of the upper class of the society because you and I benefit 90% from the oil subsidy.

“The poor 40% of Nigerians benefit very little. And we know the consequences of unveiling a masquerade. We will get fierce opposition from those benefitting from the oil subsidy scam. But where there is a will, there is a way.

“Be rest assured that our president is a man of strong will and conviction. In the fullness of time you will appreciate his noble intentions for the nation. The issue of fuel subsidy will be frontally addressed. The earlier we do so, the better.

“The issue of multiple exchange rates, we are going to collapse it into one. So these are two big elephants in the room and as the days go by we will be unveiling our agenda.

“He is going to unveil his agenda because as I have always said there can never be two captains in a ship.

“He is the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. I’m the vice president. Your relevance is directly proportional to the level of your loyalty to the president.

“This is a gentleman that I have known for well over a decade; that I have interacted closely with. Be rest assured that we are going to work harmoniously as a team, as a family for the greater good of our nation.

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