The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has drawn criticism from the Federal Government for his disparaging remarks about President Bola Tinubu’s economic strategy.
Obaseki, while addressing reporters in Benin on Thursday, expressed that the elimination of fuel subsidies and the foreign exchange reforms implemented during Tinubu’s administration contributed to heightened hardships for Nigerians.
“With the removal of subsidies and realignment of the exchange rate, the most vulnerable individuals in the nation will disproportionately bear the weight of these policies. Astonishingly, those who campaigned across the country promising to eliminate subsidies had no concrete plans for the aftermath. They lack direction on how to support those adversely affected by subsidy removal.”
Responding to the governor’s comments in an official statement on Thursday, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, argued that Obaseki’s criticisms of the APC-led Federal Government’s actions on fuel subsidies and foreign exchange market reforms overlooked the broader economic context.
While divergent opinions among leaders are natural, it’s essential to ground criticism in reality and base discussions on tangible outcomes.
“There is substantial evidence that Nigerians, State Governors regardless of party affiliation, and global institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, along with various economic experts, have consistently advocated for the removal of fuel subsidies due to the fiscal imbalances and strain they impose on the economy.
This strain encompasses months of no increase in the Federation account by the NNPC, which led to states and local governments receiving reduced funds from FAAC due to payment for fuel subsidies, regularly charged by the national oil company to the Federation account.
“For context, under Governor Obaseki’s leadership, Edo State has notably reaped the benefits of subsidy removal, as evident in the more than twofold increase in FAAC allocation between June and July 2023 compared to the pre-fuel subsidy removal period.
Our suggestion? Rather than delving into incomplete narratives, the emphasis should be on how Governor Obaseki intends to utilize the available resources to drive impactful initiatives that genuinely uplift the people of Edo State.
“We are still puzzled about the motives behind Governor Obaseki’s propagation of blatantly false accusations against the Federal Government.”