No plans to remove fuel subsidy in Nigeria – Minister

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Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed says the  Federal Government reaffirmed that it has no plans to remove fuel subsidy in the immediate future.

Ahmed, disclosed this at the briefing by the Nigerian delegation on the outcome of their meetings with investors and institutions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank meetings in Washington DC.

Ahmed spoke in reaction to IMF’s advice to federal government to remove fuel subsidy, which might have led to panic buying in the country.

“There is no imminent plan to remove subsidy. IMF said that fuel subsidy is better removed so that we can use the resources for other important sectors.

“In principle, It’s a good suggestion, but in Nigeria we don’t have any plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people.

The Federal Government reaffirmed that it had no plans to remove fuel subsidy in the immediate future.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated this on Sunday at the briefing by the Nigerian delegation on the outcome of their meetings with investors and institutions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank meetings in Washington DC.

Ahmed spoke in reaction to IMF’s advice to federal government to remove fuel subsidy, which might have led to panic buying in the country.

“There is no imminent plan to remove subsidy. IMF said that fuel subsidy is better removed so that we can use the resources for other important sectors.

“In principle, It’s a good suggestion, but in Nigeria we don’t have any plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people.

“So there is no plan to remove fuel subsidy.

“We will be working with various groups to find an alternative if we have to remove it. We are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidy yet,” she said.

Ahmed described the outing in Washington DC as a successful one, which provided Nigeria with the opportunity to review developments in the global economy and proffer potential solutions.

She said that the general advice for Nigeria is to prioritise cost-effective policies that would increase resilience to shocks, boost productivity and raise incomes of the bottom 40 per cent of the population.

“In my capacity as representative of 23 African countries, I addressed the IMFC and issued a statement calling for normalisation of trade relations among the contending parties and called for concerted efforts to supporting multi-laterism and avoid protectionist sentiments.

“At the G-24 meeting, I drew the attention of the World Bank to some of the challenges we face in implementing our portfolio like the implementation of the new environmental and social safeguards framework which tends to slow down implementation of our infrastructure projects.

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