Again, the federal government has given reasons the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may not be operable in Nigeria, stating that it is yet to devise a workable formula for the removal of fuel subsidy.
While speaking at the federal executive council meeting, minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, said removal of subsidy would have negative effect on vulnerable Nigerians.
Recall that Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, had advised Nigeria and other countries to remove fuel subsidy, saying the money spent on subsidy can be redirected to health and education.
The minister of Finance had also explained that while the country appreciates the advice of the IMF, what works for others may not be operable within Nigeria’s context, describing the country as unique.
Ahmed while speaking on Wednesday, said the government is still considering various options and until a decision is reached, no action will be taken.
“In some countries, they provided buses to transport people, in some countries they provide subsidies in a manner that the people that are directly requiring the subsidies,” Ahmed said.
“We have not found a way to do it. What we are doing now, the subsidy, it is everybody that it benefiting, whereas it is the people who are really vulnerable that need subsidy.
“So, in the executive with the support of the legislature, we have to find a formula that will work for Nigeria. And until we do that, we should not be contemplating removing the subsidy because, indeed when we do, there will be people that will suffer. So, we are not yet there.
“We discussed this periodically under the Economic Management Team but we still haven’t found a formula that works for Nigeria. And you know that Nigeria is unique. What works for Ghana might not work here.
“So, it’s still work in progress for and there is no intention to remove fuel subsidy at this time.”