Nigeria’s new President, Bola Tinubu, has broken his silence on the issue of the ending of the fuel subsidy since making the announcement that it was “gone” when he was sworn in a fortnight ago.

The decision led to a rapid rise in petrol prices.

Using a speech on Nigeria’s Democracy Day holiday, President Tinubu told citizens: “I feel your pain.”

In exchange for the ending of the subsidy, Mr Tinubu promised that he would repay Nigerians “through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives”.

But he said that sacrifices must be made: “This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.”

Though the ending of the subsidy was expected, the stark announcement in his first minutes in power took many by surprise.

The subsidy had long been seen by many Nigerians as one of the few perks they received from the state. But it was also a huge drain on public finances.

Democracy Day honours the late Chief Moshood Abiola – he was the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, held on 12 June, which was annulled by the military.

Source: BBC