In response to ongoing concerns about an alleged agenda to Islamise Nigeria, Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima has clarified the intentions of himself and his principal, Bola Tinubu. Speaking at a lecture in Abuja as part of the events surrounding Tinubu’s upcoming inauguration on May 29, Shettima reassured the public that there is no agenda to Islamise Africa’s most populous nation.
Shettima emphasized the importance of perception in politics and highlighted the inclusivity within their administration. He shared that he deliberately chose an Igbo man, a Catholic, to be his Chief Security Officer, demonstrating a commitment to diversity. Additionally, he intentionally selected a Northern Christian as his ADC (Aide-de-Camp) to foster unity. Shettima pointed out that Tinubu, his principal, is a Muslim who is married to a Christian and serves as a Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
During the same lecture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank, expressed concern about the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria, stating that it primarily benefits the wealthy. Adesina lamented that the continuous payment to subsidize petroleum products is detrimental to the Nigerian economy, with $10 billion allocated to fuel subsidy in 2022 alone.
Highlighting the inefficiency of fuel subsidies, Adesina argued that they disproportionately favor the rich rather than aiding the poor. He revealed that estimates indicate the poorest 40 percent of the population only consume three percent of petrol. Adesina emphasized that fuel subsidies are negatively impacting the Nigerian economy, costing the country $10 billion in 2022. He urged for the removal of these subsidies and emphasized the importance of directing such funds towards national development instead of borrowing.