Just in: NEC considers extension of fuel subsidy removal deadline
By Our Correspondent
The National Economic Council (NEC) has agreed that the timing for the removal of subsidies should not be now.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, dropped the hint on Thursday after the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She, however, said that all of the preparatory work should continue in consultation with the states and other key stakeholders, including representatives of the incoming administration.
Mrs. Ahmed said: “Council agreed that the first subsidy must be removed earlier rather than later because it is not sustainable.
We cannot afford it anymore. We have to do it in such a way that the impact of the subsidy is mitigated as much as possible on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
“So, this will require looking at alternatives to the post-subsidy that need to be planned for and subsequently put in place, as well as what needs to be done to support the people that would be most affected as a result of the removal.
“So, we will be working together with representatives of the state, and we will have a plan that we will start working on putting the building blocks towards the eventual removal of the fuel subsidy.
“If I may remind the forum, the budget for 2023 has provision for subsidy only up to June 2023, and the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has a provision that requires that all petroleum products must be deregulated 18 months after the effective date of the PM’s removal,, and that period is also up to June 2023.”