Tinubu not responsible for hardship, says Yuguda

Former Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, on Tuesday, said President Bola Tinubu cannot be held responsible for the current hardship and high inflation Nigerians are facing.

Yuguda, at the first edition of the Asiwaju Scorecard Series organised by the All Progressives Congress Professionals Forum in Abuja, further stressed that the economy was seriously bleeding before he came into office.

In the past few months, the masses have continued to groan over the rising cost of food items and inflation despite an appreciable improvement in the exchange rate of the naira against the dollar.

But the former governor insisted that the current administration should not be solely held responsible for the turbulent economy.

He expressed concern that if Tinubu had not taken some drastic measures and reforms that included the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira, Nigeria would seriously be gasping for breath.

According to him, the president inherited several burdens, which were made possible by factors like the subsidy scam, rife corruption in the civil service and the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown where the country allegedly paid billions of naira to subsidise domestic fuel consumption that was at an all-time low.

He said, “The President did not create any of the problems people are talking about whether in the economy or in the other sectors. In fact, what he met on ground would have created a worse situation if not properly handled but he is championing reforms that are required to pave way for a better society.

“We all recall how on assuming office, President Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy but again for the avoidance of doubt, he did not remove subsidy on PMS. It was not in the later part of the 2023 budget but surprisingly the Tinubu administration has had to bear the brunt of subsidy removal.

“Let me quickly add that my opposition to fuel subsidy has been well documented since the Goodluck Jonathan years when as chairman of a subcommittee on the economic meltdown, we recommended its removal after a discovery of the scam being perpetrated in the name of fuel subsidy.

“A recent study also showed that despite the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, Nigeria still paid billions of naira for fuel subsidy even though in reality, domestic fuel consumption was very low.

“Indeed, the President has today been proved right with the manner petrol importation has gone down by 50 per cent since June 2023 and it is almost certain to go down more in a few months when Dangote refinery begins to produce PMS locally as well as the impending resumption of production at the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries,” he added.

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