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Fuel Subsidy Removal Will Push More Nigerians Into Poverty, Says Abdulsalami

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A former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar has raised concerns over the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

General Abdulsalami, who was speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, said the country is facing challenges on multiple fronts and a fuel subsidy removal will only compound the situation.

The Federal Government has said it plans to discontinue the payment of fuel subsidy by June but the move has been rejected by several stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress.

“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels,” General Abdulsalami said. “And over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.

“All of these tend to have negative effects on security.

“In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.

“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process and distribute food.

“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.

“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC.

“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”

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