The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Monday in Abuja announced the postponement of the planned fuel subsidy removal by the federal government.
The Minister said that the Federal Government is still in consultation with various stakeholders on the need to end fuel subsidy.
Mrs. Ahmed said this during an interaction with the Senate President, Mr. Ahmed Lawan, Honourable Minister of State Petroleum, Timipriye Sylva, Group Managing Director NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and other stakeholders.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media & Communications to the Minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, quoted the Minister during the meeting saying that the Federal Government initially in compliance with the provision of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to deregulate all petroleum products, made provisions for fuel subsidy from January-June 2022.
This implies that, there was no provisions for subsidy from July, 2022.
The provision was made sequel to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act which indicated that all petroleum products would be deregulated.
“Sequel to the passage of the PIA, we went back to amend the fiscal framework to incorporate the provisions to deregulate the sector.
“However, after the budget was passed, we had consultations with a number of stakeholders and it became clear that the timing was problematic.
We are still discussing and if it means going back to the National Assembly to move the date forward and further amend the budget to accommodate further subsidy payment
“In real terms, there is still heightened inflation, the removal of subsidy may further worsen the situation and impose more difficulties on the citizenry.
“ President Muhammadu Buhari, does not want to do that. 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 timelines for roll out of the refining capacities of the existing refineries and the new ones which would reduce quantum of products that would be imported into the country.
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