Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says “Nigeria is broke. Pure and simple!”
Explaining what led to the increase in the pump price, Mohammed said the financial situation of the country made the federal government to make some very “painful adjustments”.
He appealed to Nigerians to understand that there would be some times when the government will take decisions that will make it unpopular.
The minister was briefing reporters at the end of the federal executive council meeting at the state house.
“The current problem is not really about subsidy removal. It is about that Nigeria is broke. Pure and simple!” he said.
“It is like somebody who has been earning N100,000 a month and he is faced with a situation where his employer says henceforth you will be earning N10,000 a month. He would need to make some very painful decisions and some very painful adjustments.
“That is the situation with Nigeria today. A few months ago, we were earning as much as $100 for every barrel of crude. We no longer have the resources, the foreign exchange to bring in refined fuel products. And our economy is shrinking.
“We appreciate the fact that the decision is going to affect everybody. We appreciate what we are going through, but Nigerians should also know that the government has the responsibility at times to take very difficult decisions. So, it is not always about popularity.”
Other ministers at the briefing were Chris Ngige (labour and employment), Abubakar Malami (justice), Babatunde Fashola (power; works and housing).