Nigeria’s government has chosen to put off eliminating fuel subsidies, citing the need for additional planning and consultations with important parties, including the new administration.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to local media on Thursday after the valedictory Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ahmed said the Council agreed on the need for continued discussions on the issue adding that the FG, together with states and representatives of the incoming administration, require more preparatory work.
She said, “Council agreed that the timing of the removal of fuel subsidy should not be now. But that we should continue with all of the preparatory works that need to be done and this preparatory has to be done in consultation with the states and other key stakeholders including representatives of the incoming administration.
This comes a few days after Nigeria’s outgoing government recommended that the new administration of president-elect Bola Tinubu give public sector workers pay rises after removing a fuel subsidy in June, Labour Minister Chris Ngige said on Tuesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who steps down in May, had planned to remove the popular but costly subsidy in 2022 as part of fiscal and petroleum sector reforms but abandoned the plan because of fears of protests in the run-up to last month’s election.
Previous Nigerian governments have promised to remove the fuel subsidy, which most economists say is an unsustainable drag on public finances, but have failed to do so because of fierce opposition from citizens.
Ahmed added that the FG will be working together with representatives of the states between now and June 2023.