The Federal Government has clarified its stance on the ongoing fuel subsidy removal debate, and the alleged scarcity of fuel that has sent most Nigerians into a state of panic.
Backstory: Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had on Thursday made a statement alluding to the Federal Government’s intention to remove fuel subsidy in the nearest future, by agreeing with a suggestion made by the Director General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Subsidy Removal not Happening Now: However, the Minister during a joint conference with Central of Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele, at the end of the 2019 World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in the United States, explained that while subsidy was an option, it wasn’t going to be implemented now.
“So, in principle, the IMF would say fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources for other important sectors, which is good advice, but in Nigeria, we do not have any plans to remove fuel subsidies at this time, because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us to 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 out the best approach if we have to. We discussed this very frequently at the Economic Management Team, but what is the alternative? We haven’t yet found viable alternatives. So, we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidies.”