Presidency disowns leaked documents on fiscal policy proposals

Presidency disowns leaked documents on fiscal policy proposals

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The Presidency on Thursday disowned two fiscal policy documents now in circulation, urging the media to disregard and cease further discussions on them.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, who stated this in a statement, observed that one of the leaked documents has been presented as an executive order from President Bola Tinubu.

According to him, it is titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024.”

He said the other is a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), which, according to him, contains suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy.

However, he revealed that President Tinubu received a copy of the draft on Tuesday.

“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“They are all policy proposals that are still subject to reviews at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it,” Onanuga stated.

He quoted the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, as saying: “It is important to understand that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised.

“We assure the public that the official position on the documents will be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals are completed.”

Onanuga noted that emanating from the two documents have been reports second-guessing the government’s policy on customs tariffs, fuel subsidy and other economic matters.

He informed that the federal government’s policy on subsidy withdrawal has not changed and no N5.4 trillion has been set aside for it in the 2024 budget.

Onanuga further quoted Edun as adding: “The government wants to restate that its position on fuel subsidy has not changed from what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared on 29 May 2023.

“The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed.”

According to the presidential aide, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy further clarified: “As previously stated by government officials, including myself, President Tinubu announced the end of the fuel subsidy programme last year, and this policy remains firmly in place.

“The Federal Government is committed to mitigating the effects of this removal and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians.

“Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, which is significantly impacted by transport costs.

“With the implementation of our CNG initiative, which aims to displace high PMS and AGO costs, we expect to further reduce these costs.

“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations.”

Onanuga called on the media to always exercise necessary checks and restraints in the use of documents that do not emanate from official channels so that the members of the public are properly informed, guided, and educated on government policies and programmes.

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