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FG to hold national summit on removal of petrol subsidy

FG to hold national summit on removal of petrol subsidy
August 18
22:13 2022

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says plans are underway for a national conference on the removal of petrol subsidy

Ahmed said the federal executive council (FEC) has approved the summit, adding that it will take place soon.

The minister spoke on Thursday when she appeared before the house of representatives ad hoc committee investigating petrol subsidy.

According to Ahmed, the subsidy regime is unsustainable and its removal will be in the best interest of the country.

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“When we engage with the leadership of the parliament, they recommended a national stakeholders forum that will bring all major stakeholders together, including all political parties leaders. We reported that at the federal executive council and we got approval that it should be arranged. The government is looking at that,” she said.

“There is a need to have this as a national discussion. If we all as a nation agree that this PMS subsidy should go, then it should go. It is not the president alone that is deciding, it is not the ministry of finance that is suggesting. I hope this is done very soon that we take that decision.

“The subsidy in the past has been investigated in the past by various bodies and groups, including the national assembly and the executive. There have been several reports and each of these reports has recommended that this subsidy regime is not beneficial and we should exit it. We are still holding on to it with all the deficiencies the subsidy regime carries.

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“We have been making provision for PMS subsidy in the budget. We have taken it up over and over at FEC. There are instances when what is provided in the budget is exceeded because the circumstances are continuously changing; what is expended exceeds what is appropriated.”

The federal government had earmarked N4 trillion for petrol subsidy in 2022 — and is projected to spend N6.7 trillion in 2023.

In November 2021, the government announced plans to remove fuel subsidy, but it was met with pushback from key stakeholders, with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) threatening to embark on a nationwide protest.

In January, the federal government postponed the plan till further notice, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.

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