The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has denied media reports alleging she unilaterally ordered the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to announce the withdrawal of fuel subsidy without presidential approval.
A statement signed by the NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Dr Levi Ajuonuma, in Abuja described the reports as “malicious and lacking in merit”.
It recalled that the idea to remove the subsidy was first announced by the state governors and that the policy was endorsed by the Federal Executive Council.
“It is wrong for anyone to say that I unilaterally ordered the PPPRA to announce the removal of subsidy.
“Withdrawal of subsidy is a policy of the Federal Government in which I serve as Minister of Petroleum Resources,” Alison-Madueke explained.
The statement quoted the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, as having clarified earlier that it was not a unilateral action of either the PPPRA or any government official.
It also recalled that the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr Babangida Aliyu, had declared on national television that the Governors Forum was responsible for the decision to remove the subsidy due to its drain on the national purse.
The statement further said it was “callous for anyone to pinpoint the removal of fuel subsidy on any individual”, and urged the public to dispel the rumor.