GOVERANCE

FG Suspends Removal Of Petrol Subsidy

The National Economic Council (NEC) has recommended the temporary suspension of the planned removal of petrol subsidy, according to a statement by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.

Speaking to journalists after the Valedictory NEC meeting, Ahmed revealed that the council agreed that the timing for the removal of subsidy should not be now, but all preparatory plans with various segments of the government, including states and the incoming administration, should be intensified.

“Council agreed that the first subsidy must be removed earlier rather than later because it is not sustainable. We cannot afford it anymore. We have to do it in such a way that the impact of the subsidy is as much as possible, mitigated on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

“So, this will require looking at alternatives to the post-subsidy that needs to be planned for and subsequently put in place but also what needs to be done to support the people that would be most affected as a result of the removal,” Ahmed said.

According to Ahmed, the plan will be developed in consultation with the states and other key stakeholders, including representatives of the incoming administration.

She also noted that the budget for 2023 has a provision for subsidy only up to June 2023, and the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) requires that all petroleum products must be deregulated 18 months after the effective date of the PMs removal, and that period is also up to June 2023.

“Council agreed that the subsidy regime must be removed eventually as it is not sustainable. We will be working together with representatives of the states. We will have a plan that we will start working on putting the building blocks towards the eventual removal of the fuel subsidy,” she added.

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Overall, the NEC’s decision to temporarily suspend the removal of petrol subsidy will allow the government to make necessary preparations and consult with key stakeholders before executing the plan.

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