Federal Govt Announces Final Decision on Petrol Subsidy Removal

Federal Govt Announces Final Decision on Petrol Subsidy Removal

  • Labour unions can now sheathe their swords as the federal government has announced the postponement of petrol subsidy
  • Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, national planning, said the subsidy removal was postponed due to high inflation and economic hardship
  • The finance minister also revealed the next steps the government will be taking following the suspension of its previous plan to stop the subsidy

FCT, Abuja - The federal government has postponed the planned petrol subsidy removal till further notice, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.

TheCable reported that Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, national planning, announced this on Monday, January 24, in Abuja.

FG Postpones Petrol Subsidy Removal
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, national planning, announced FG's postponement of the planned petrol subsidy removal till further notice. Photo credit: Federal Ministry of Finance
Source: Facebook

Legit.ng gathers that the minister made the disclosure at a meeting with the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

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Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources; representatives of oil companies, among others, were also present at the meeting.

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Plan to remove subsidy reconsidered

Ahmed said at the meeting that the government had to reconsider its decision after the 2022 budget was passed.

According to the finance minister, petrol subsidy was provided for in the 2022 budget to run from January till June.

She, however, said that after consultations with stakeholders, additional provisions would be made beyond the initial period.

She further noted that the timing for the removal of petrol subsidy will be problematic as the country still experiences heightened inflation.

Her words:

“Provision was made in the 2022 budget for subsidy payment from January till June. That suggested that from July, there would be no subsidy,” Ahmed said.
”The provision was made sequel to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, which indicated that all petroleum products would be deregulated.

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“Sequel to the passage of the PIA, we went back to amend the fiscal framework to incorporate the subsidy removal.
“However, after the budget was passed, we had consultations with a number of stakeholders, and it became clear that the timing was problematic.
“We discovered that practically, there is still heightened inflation and that the removal of subsidy would further worsen the situation and impose more difficulties on the citizenry."

Buhari does not want to impose more difficulties on Nigerians - Ahmed

Ahmed said President Muhammadu Buhari does not want to impose more difficulties on Nigerians by removing the subsidy.

She continued:

"What we are now doing is to continue with the ongoing discussions and consultations in terms of putting in place a number of measures.
“One of these include the roll-out of the refining capacities of the existing refineries and the new ones, which would reduce the amount of products that would be imported into the country.

Read also

Breaking: Buhari suspends planned petrol subsidy removal indefinitely, reveals next move

“We, therefore, need to return to the National Assembly to now amend the budget and make additional provision for subsidy from July 2022 to whatever period that we agreed was suitable for the commencement of the total removal.”

Also speaking, Lawan appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned industrial action over subsidy removal as it has become unnecessary.

Petroleum minister reveals Buhari's position on removal of petrol subsidy

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the minister of state for petroleum, Sylva, reacted to reports of President Buhari's plan to remove the subsidy on petrol.

Sylva during this week’s edition of Channels Television’s Newsnight revealed that Buhari is not in support of the removal of subsidy on petrol at this time.

According to him, the complete removal of subsidy is not on the federal government's plate, saying they plan to complete consultations before coming out with a clear policy direction on the matter.

Source: Legit.ng

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