The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday suspended the anticipated removal of the subsidy on petroleum products by the conclusion of President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration.
Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made this announcement at the conclusion of the NEC meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the minister, the NEC agreed in its meeting that the timing of the measure is not favorable.
She noted that the Council discussed on the topic and determined that it could not be eliminated for the time being, but it also agreed on the importance of continuing the conversation and the necessary preparation work in collaboration with states and representatives of the new administration.
Subsidies have long been a contentious issue in Nigeria.
Part of the Petroleum Industry Bill, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2021, does not provide for subsidy.
In January 2022, the Federal Government submitted to the National Assembly an 18-month extension for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
In accordance with existing rules, the present administration agreed to extend the statutory period for the implementation of the withdrawal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
However, the fuel subsidy should have been phased out completely by June, but the present administration has stated that it is not yet time to do so.
The removal of fuel subsidies, however, is left to the incoming administration.