ABUJA — The President Goodluck Jonathan administration has quietly bowed to pressure from the Nigerian public and withdrawn its decision to implement a total fuel subsidy removal policy, at least for now. In the 2012 budget signed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday, a provision of N888 billion was made for fuel subsidy which he admitted was due to pressure from the public.
His words: “The initial 2012 Budget proposal assumed full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. However, after listening to the voice of Nigerians, we opted for partial subsidy removal. This meant that we had to review the budget’s revenue and expenditure projections to make some provisions amounting to N888 billion in the budget.” Many Nigerians had engaged in panic buying of petrol at the beginning of this month in anticipation of an announcement of the full subsidy removal by the Federal Government, going by its earlier agreement with organised labour.