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Petrol subsidy removal still valid – FG

Against the backdrop of the story in some media that the federal government has suspended the removal of petrol subsidy, the government has said that it has not suspended the removal, but has rather expanded the subsidy removal committee to include teams from the incoming administration and the state governors.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zaniab Ahmed, stated this in Abuja on Thursday, shortly after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

She said that NEC deliberated on the issue extensively and came to the conclusion that the subsidy must be removed as it is not sustainable, but that there was a need for further consultations, especially the need to involve members of the incoming administration and representatives of the State governments.

Mrs. Ahmed also said the NEC agreed to form an expanded committee that will be looking at the process for the removal of the subsidy, including determining the exact time as well as the measures that need to be taken to provide support to the poor and the vulnerable.

The committee will also consider alternative measures that will be put in place to ensure that there is sufficient supply of petroleum products in the country.”

According to the Honourable Minister, the Subsidy Removal Committee currently comprises the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, the downstream and upstream regulators, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.

Mrs. Ahmed stated that the 2023 Fiscal Framework and Appropriation Act as well as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) have made the provision that government should exit fuel subsidy by June 2023.

Writing by Biodun Dare; Editing by Julian Osamoto