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Nigerians to pay more for electricity as govt removes tariff subsidy

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The Federal government of Nigeria has confirmed that electricity tariff subsidy has been removed.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at a virtual meeting of African Finance Ministers with the theme: the political economy of fiscal reforms held during the week.

At the event, she also hinted at the government’s plans to remove subsidy on petrol.

She said, “We are cleaning up our subsidies. We had a setback; we were to remove fuel subsidy by July this year but there was a lot of pushback from the polity.

“We have elections coming and because of the hardship that companies and citizens went through during the COVID-19 pandemic, we just felt that the time was not right, so we pulled back on that.”

“But we have been able to quietly implement subsidy removal in the electricity sector and as we speak, we don’t have subsidies in the electricity sector. We did that incrementally over time by carefully adjusting the prices at some levels while holding the lower levels down.”

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Ahmed also noted the rising global oil prices has made subsidies payment a bigger headache.

“But the current review that we are doing is to hold the subsidy at the level in which it is planned”.

“We are currently doing a budget amendment to accommodate incremental subsidy (removal) as a result of the reversal of the decision and we want to cap it at that,” Ahmed added.

“Hopefully, the parliament will agree with us and we are able to continue with our plan for subsidy (removal) otherwise the way things are going we will not be able to predict where the deficit will be as a result of the fluctuation in the global market.”

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