On May 30, 2023, the vice president of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, addressed the media shortly after he settled in his office. He spoke on the petroleum product subsidy which has generated mixed reactions and led to long queues across fuel stations in Nigeria.
Lending his voice in support of his principal and the president, Bola Tinubu, the vice-president said “The truth of the matter is that we either get rid of the fuel subsidy or the fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian nation. In 2022, we spent $10 billion subsidising the ostentatious lifestyle of the upper class of society because you and I benefit 90% from the fuel subsidy while the poor benefit very little. ”
Claim: Nigeria spent $10 billion on fuel subsidy in 2022
On January 20, 2023, the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission Limited (NNPCL) revealed that it spent 4.39 trillion ($9.7 billion) on petrol subsidy in 2022. However, due to a single exchange rate, several news reports pegged the dollar equivalence of the amount spent on subsidies at $10 billion. Some of those reports can be found here.
In April 2022, the Senate and House of Representatives approved the request of Muhammadu Buhari, the immediate past president, to earmark N4 trillion for petrol subsidy. Converting this amount to dollars is equivalent to about $10 billion.
The claim that the Nigerian government spent $10 billion on fuel subsidy in 2022, is true. The NNPCL reported that it spent N4.39 trillion, equivalent to about $10 billion. The Commission, however, noted that the continuous increase in the fuel subsidy price was leaving a hole in the nation’s public finances.