FG To Extend Fuel Subsidy Beyond June, Says Finance Minister

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    Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said the Federal Government will not remove fuel subsidy in June.

    She said the Federal Government, therefore, plans to make additional provisions for fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget.

    Ahmed spoke on Monday at a meeting with the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

    Lawan had convened the meeting, also attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and representatives of oil companies, amid the controversy over the removal of fuel subsidy by the government.

    The Senate President had warned against the subsidy removal in view of the hardships being faced by Nigerians.

    Ahmed said: “Provision was made in the 2022 budget for subsidy payment from January till June. That suggested that from July, there would be no subsidy.

    ”The provision was made sequel to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act which indicated that all petroleum products would be deregulated.

    “Sequel to the passage of the PIA, we went back to amend the fiscal framework to incorporate the subsidy removal.

    “However, after the budget was passed, we had consultations with a number of stakeholders and it became clear that the timing was problematic.

    “We discovered that practically, there is still heightened inflation and that the removal of subsidy would further worsen the situation and impose more difficulties on the citizenry.

    “Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari), does not want to do that. What we are now doing is to continue with the ongoing discussions and consultations in terms of putting in place a number of measures.

    “One of these include the roll out of the refining capacities of the existing refineries and the new ones which would reduce amount of products that would be imported into the country.”

    It would be recalled that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), warned the Federal Government against plans to remove fuel subsidy in 2022, saying the action will be met with nationwide protests.

    The congress said the planned rallies would commence without warning should the government announce new fuel prices ahead of scheduled protest rallies in all the states of the federation.

    The protest is slated for January 27, 2022, and would culminate in the submission of protest letters to all the 36 state governors.

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