The Nigerian Bar Association says the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government suspended the planned petrol subsidy removal because of the forthcoming 2023 elections.
The President of NBA, Olumide Akpata, made this known on Monday while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.); a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana; and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, strongly warned the government against removing the subsidy, saying it would worsen poverty in the country.
But the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, said that the government had suspended the planned removal of subsidy on petrol which was expected to kick off by June this year.
Reacting to the suspension of the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products, the NBA president said, “I would have love dot think that the decision to suspend, I would have wanted to believe that it is because the government cares so much about the people and it is a government that is listening to the cries of the people because indeed as the Minister of Finance mentioned because it would be really tough if subsidy removal is implemented at this time with all of the other circumstances.
“However, something tells me that this has more to do with what is in the offing; an election is coming up and the strategies – they (government) must probably have sat down and think about it and told themselves that it would be suicidal at this point in time to take out subsidy going into an election which is around the corner.”