Nigeria won’t spend N1trn on subsidies this year – says Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured that unlike the previous year, Nigeria will not spend N1trn on subsidies this year.

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The Vice President, while speaking with CNN’s business analyst, Richard Quest in Davos, Switzerland, also noted that Nigerian have faith in President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill his promise to fight corruption.

Osinbajo expressed hopes that the country can survive the slum in crude oil prices at the global market, noting that there are other means Nigeria can generate revenue other than oil.

He said, “We spent something in the order of $5 billion (N1 trillion) on subsidies last year and we are not going to have to spend any of that this year, so that’s a substantial savings. So for the man on the street, for the man who is going to the pumps to buy petrol, that’s good news,”

“We have plenty of room in domestic resource mobilization, we have plenty of room in taxes, we are collecting 20 percent of VAT at the moment and we can widen that coverage, do much more in terms of coverage of revenue, plug in leakages, fiscal discipline, I think there’s just plenty of room. We would survive even at that oil price.”

Osinbajo, who was enthusiastic of the current government’s commitment towards ensuring that its anti-corruption crusade does not end up without result like the previous ones said, “The first thing is personality.

The president, President Buhari, is known for his stand against corruption for years.”

“Every Nigerian trusts him and every Nigerian knows here’s a man that would stand by his word. That, I think, is a very important part of all of these.

“I think the country is ready for a change, I think everyone is saying this is the time to fight corruption, this is the time to get some discipline in governance. I just think that there is a sense that the moment is here,” Osinbajo stated.

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