The National Economic Council (NEC) has recommended a temporary suspension of planned fuel susbsidy removal.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this after the Valedictory NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, April 27.
She noted that while the Council agreed that the subsidy regime must be removed eventually as it is not sustainable, all of the preparatory works should continue in consultation with the states and other key stakeholders, including representatives of the incoming administration.
“Today I was in the National Economic Council, where we discussed the issue of post-subsidy removal. Council agreed that the timing for the removal of subsidy should not be now, but that we should continue with all of the preparation works that needs to be done and that this preparation work has to be done in consultation with the states and other key stakeholders, including representatives of the incoming administration.
“Council agreed that the first subsidy must be removed earlier rather than later because it is not sustainable. We cannot afford it anymore. We have to do it in such a way that the impact of the subsidy is as much as possible, mitigated on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
“So, this will require looking at alternatives to the post subsidy that needs to be planned for and subsequently put in place but also what needs to be done to support the people that would be most affected as a result of the removal.
“So, we will be working together with representatives of the States. We will have a plan that we will start working on putting the building blocks towards the eventual removal of the fuel subsidy.
“If I May remind the forum, that the budget for 2023 has provision for subsidy only up to June 2023 and also the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has a provision that requires that all petroleum products must be deregulated 18 months after the effective date of the PMs removal and that period is also up to June 2023.”