By Ismail Auwal

Former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar has warned that a rise in the price of petroleum products will make more Nigerians poor.

Abubakar disclosed at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, on Thursday.

Nigerians are on the verge of paying more for petrol, following the National Economic Council’s (NEC) recommendation that the pump price be set at N302 per litre.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, had announced in November that the subsidy on petrol would be removed and a N5,000 transport grant would be disbursed to the “poorest” Nigerians to cushion the effect.

High inflation in 2021 has pushed an estimated 7 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020, according to the World Bank in 2021.

Abubakar noted that “The expected fuel price increment will push more Nigerians into poverty.”

“Over 80 million Nigerians are still cut off by poverty. Nigeria faces a food crisis worsened by the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

While commenting on the 2023 presidential election, the former head of state stated that regardless of the demands for zoning and challenges, Nigerians should unite and work together.

“Note that for the first time, southern governors are taking on their northern counterparts, each demanding the presidency to their regions,” he said.

“This election year calls for statesmanship and partnership to pull Nigeria out of the woods. Let us all remember that despite all the challenges and threats, Nigeria remains one. Our unity and large populations are assets and strength.”

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