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Nigerian government rules out ‘immediate plan’ to remove fuel subsidy

Sylva links defection to ‘mental instability’, says defectors need ‘psychiatric evaluation’

The Minister of State for Peroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said on Thursday that the Federal Government had no immediate plans to remove fuel subsidy.

The minister gave the assurance while fielding questions from legislators at a joint session of the National Assembly committees overseeing the oil sector.

“This government is not about to remove subsidy because it is difficult. We believe as a government that our people are going through a lot.

“We cannot as a responsible government heap another issue of petroleum price hike or removal of subsidy on Nigerians.

“It is not on the cards at all, we are just looking at how we can manage it,” Silva said.

The minister also noted that the official daily consumption rate of petrol in Nigeria does not reflect the actual consumption rate, adding that government does not believe Nigerians consume over 60 million litres of fuel daily.

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He insisted that there was a lot of smuggling going on and that the country’s neighbours were taking advantage of the cheaper price in Nigeria.

He said Nigeria was subsidising for almost half of Africa which was very difficult to manage, adding that government was working to close up such leakages and when achieved, the cost of subsidy would be bearable.

He said with efforts at fixing the refineries, the cost of subsidy would be reduced.

Speaking on the declaration of Anambra as an oil-producing state by former President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister said there were several things left undone that would have benefited the state.

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