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‘No N5.4trn subsidy provision’ — FG says documents on fiscal policy proposals unofficial

‘No N5.4trn subsidy provision’ — FG says documents on fiscal policy proposals unofficial ‘No N5.4trn subsidy provision’ — FG says documents on fiscal policy proposals unofficial

The presidency says the two fiscal policy documents in circulation have not been approved by the federal government.

According to the presidency on Thursday, the documents are still policy proposals subject to reviews at the highest level of government.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the federal government may suspend import duties on food and drugs according to a document titled “Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measures) Order 2024”.

Also, it was reported that the federal government proposed N5.4 trillion for petrol subsidy before the year ends based on a document titled ‘Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP)’.

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However, addressing the reports, the presidency said the documents are unofficial.

“One of the documents titled Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measure etc) Order 2024 is being shared as if it were an executive order signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the presidency said.

“The other is a 65-page draft document with the title “Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), which contains suggestions on how to improve the Nigerian economy. President Tinubu received a copy of the draft on Tuesday.

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“We urge the public and the media to disregard the two documents and cease further discussions on them. None is an approved official document of the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are all policy proposals that are still subject to reviews at the highest level of government. Indeed, one has ‘draft’ clearly written on it.”

Quoting Wale Edun, the coordinating minister of the economy, the presidency said it is important to understand that “policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions before any document is finalised”.

The presidency said Edun had assured the public that the official position on the documents would be made available after comprehensive reviews and approvals were completed.

‘N5.4 TRILLION NOT PROVISIONED FOR FUEL SUBSIDY’

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In the statement, Edun said the government has not budgeted N5.4 trillion for petrol subsidy in 2024, reiterating that petrol subsidy is gone.

“The government wants to restate that its position on fuel subsidy has not changed from what President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared on 29 May 2023. The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed,” Edun said.

The minister said the federal government is committed to mitigating the effects of the removal of petrol subsidy and easing the cost of living pressures on Nigerians.

“Our strategy focuses on addressing key factors such as food inflation, which is significantly impacted by transport costs. With the implementation of our CNG initiative, which aims to displace high PMS and AGO costs, we expect to further reduce these costs,” Edun said.

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“Our commitment to ending unproductive subsidies is steadfast, as is our dedication to supporting our most vulnerable populations.”

Also, the presidency said reports have been second-guessing policies of the government on customs tariffs, fuel subsidy and other economic matters.

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