The office of Nigeria’s new President Bola Tinubu has told the public to stop panic-buying as the fuel subsidy will not end until the end of June.
The statement seeks to stem the chaos sparked by comments at his inauguration on Monday when he said the subsidy was “gone”, but he gave no timeframe or other details.
The statement says his remarks are “neither a new development nor an action of his new administration”, explaining that the decades-long subsidy was only funded until the end of June.
“He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year,” it said.
“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the federal government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination.
“The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.”
Some people have posted videos online of filling stations already increasing prices, in some cases by more than 200%.
The statement from the presidency added that Mr Tinubu’s plan was to channel the money previously spent on the subsidy “into better investments that will cushion the effects of the removal on the general public, especially the poor of the poor”.
“This includes but is not limited to investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions of Nigerians and increase their earning potential.”