The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed has said the federal government will not remove subsidy at this moment because there are no buffers to cushion the effects.
The minister made the commitment yesterday at the closing press briefing at the annual IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United United States of America.
The minister who was flanked at the briefing by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma said plausible as the argument to remove subsidy sounds, Nigeria isn’t ready for it at this time.
“There is no eminent plan to remove fuel subsidy, ” she declared.
She explained further that the FG has “no plan to remove fuel subsidy. If we have to remove subsidy, we will be working with various groups to look at the alternatives. We discuss this very frequently at the economic management team but we haven’t found the viable alternatives so we are not yet at the point of removing subsidy,” she said.
“We are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues. One of the issues that always come up in the report especially, the IFM Article Four Report, is how we handle fuel subsidies. The IMF will say fuel subsidies are better removed so you could use the resources for other important sectors. In principle that is a fact to do so.
But in Nigeria we don’t have any plans to remove fuel subsidy at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us to remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people” she noted.