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FG postpones planned petrol subsidy removal indefinitely

The Nigeria Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed says the federal Government has postponed the planned petrol subsidy removal.

The finance Minister who made this known during a meeting held at the National Assembly in Abuja said the suspension is till further notice.

It was reported earlier that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of the removal of subsidy from Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.

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Ahmed said the removal of the subsidy anytime this year may worsen inflationary trends in the country.

She said, “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,” adding “Mr. President 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 the amount of products that would be imported into the country.

Ahmed said “We, therefore, need to return to the National Assembly to now amend the budget and make additional provision for subsidy from July 22 to whatever period that we agreed was suitable for the commencement of the total removal.” “Until those details are worked out properly with (the organized) labor, and with all the stakeholders in the sector, we will not remove the subsidy. At this moment, it is not on our plate, I can tell you that.”

She concluded the meeting saying that “This is something that needs to be worked out between the Federal Government and the states because this is a federation issue. We are working with the governors to see how we can continue with this policy direction of subsidizing fuel for the foreseeable future.”

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