Connect with us


FG says no immediate plan to remove fuel subsidy



States set to receive final tranche of Paris Club refund

The federal government has said that contrary to speculations, there is no immediate plan to remove subsidy on premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol.

This was disclosed on Sunday by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, at the press briefing marking the end of the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA.

According to her FG has given conditions for removal of subsidy, including provision of alternative cushioning measures mutually agreed between stakeholders to protect the economically vulnerable members of the population.

However, she said the federal government is yet to arrive at such measures. Consequently, there is no immediate plan to remove fuel subsidy, contrary to speculations that have led to the emergence of fuel queues in some parts of the country.

READ ALSO: POST ELECTION: Nigeria’s economy records $5bn foreign investment inflows —CBN

The speculations came at the backdrop of the position canvassed by the World Bank/ IMF officials during the meetings demanding the removal of the subsidy and use of the resources generated to invest and develop the nation’s infrastructure.

But Ahmed stated: “There is no imminent plan to remove fuel subsidy. We are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues.

“One of the issues that always come up in the report, especially by the IMF as a corporate body is how we handle fuel subsidies. IMF is saying fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources for other important sectors.

“In principle that is a fact. But in Nigeria, we don’t have plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that can enable us remove fuel subsidy and provide cushions for our people. So there is no plan to remove fuel subsidy.

“We will be discussing with various groups. If we have to, what are the alternatives? We have not yet found viable alternatives. So we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidy.”

The Minister also revealed that her delegation held discussions with the World Bank with a view to taking a USD1 billion loan for the development of the power sector.

She said, “We also met with the World Bank Power Sector team and discussed the way forward on the Proposed USD1 billion Nigeria Performance Based Loan (PBL). We agreed to bring relevant MDAs together to ensure that we advance this in a timely manner.

“We will also discuss the Country Portfolio Performance of Nigeria which currently stands at $9.8 billion with the Nigerian Country team at the World Bank and how we could manage the portfolio for optimum results.”

Ahmed added, “At the IMFC meetings, the Managing Director requested for a mandate to pursue some negotiations with Governors for temporary financing options for ensuring that the Fund remains adequately resourced by maintaining the current resource envelope of the Fund through borrowed resources. This arose partly due to the delay in completing the 15th general review of quotas.

“While Governors endorsed this position, we called for an ambitious timetable for the 16th General Review of quota which should result in increased quota shares for dynamic economies in line with their relative positions in the world economy, while protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members.”

She called for the normalization of trade relations among the contending parties and called for concerted efforts to support multilaterism and avoid protectionist sentiments.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now