We secretly removed subsidy on electricity tariff, fuel is next - Finance Minister

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, has explained how the Federal Government secretly abolished the electricity tariff subsidies. She stated that the government has to adjust prices gradually at some points.

Ahmed also indicated that the budget was being amended to accommodate the gradual reduction of gasoline subsidies, speaking at a virtual conference of African Finance Ministers and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday. 'The political economy of fiscal reforms' was the meeting's theme.

Nigeria Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed
Nigeria Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed

"We have elections coming and because of the hardship that companies and citizens went through during the COVID-19 pandemic, we just felt that the time was not right, so we pulled back on that," the Minister stated.

She further said, “But we have been able to quietly implement subsidy removal in the electricity sector and as we speak, we don’t have subsidies in the electricity sector. We did that incrementally over time by carefully adjusting the prices at some levels while holding the lower levels down.

"We are currently doing a budget amendment to accommodate incremental subsidy (removal) as a result of the reversal of the decision and we want to cap it at that. Hopefully, the parliament will agree with us and we are able to continue with our plan for subsidy (removal) otherwise the way things are going we will not be able to predict where the deficit will be as a result of the fluctuation in the global market," Ahmed concluded.

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