Fuel subsidy removal is coming, but...Lai Muhammed reveals why FG is delaying

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According to Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, the expensive petrol subsidy should not be eliminated at this time.

The underpriced sales of premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as gasoline, are referred to as subsidy or under-recovery.

The scheduled withdrawal of the petrol subsidy had been postponed by the federal government until further notice due to "high inflation and economic hardship."

Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

In an interview with Reuters on a Monday, Mohammed made this statement.

He continued by saying that many other nations had implemented policies to assist their citizens in coping with the high cost of oil as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war.

"Does it make sense to eliminate subsidies when you consider the chaos, social unrest, and instability that would result? I don’t think so,” Mohammed said.

Among other issues, petrol subsidy payments have dwindled revenue accrued to states, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) making zero remittances to the federation account.

NNPC spent N1.27 trillion on fuel subsidies in the last five months, which is nearly 31% of the N4 trillion set out for the year.

Petrol subsidies, according to minister of finance, budget, and national planning Zainab Ahmed, "harm the nation" and make it more difficult for the federal government to pay off debt.

There are indications also that the decision to pause the removal is not unconnected to the chances of the APC led federal government at the 2023 polls. The result could be devastating.

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