Written by Sarah NEGEDU

No plans on fuel subsidy removal - FG

The federal government has stated that there was no plan yet for the removal of fuel subsidy.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said this on Sunday at a briefing by the Nigerian delegation at the just ended joint Spring Meeting of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC.

The minister in reaction to calls by the IMF to the federal government to remove fuel subsidy, said, “There is no imminent plan to remove subsidy.”

“IMF said that fuel subsidy is better removed so that we can use the resources for other important sectors.

“In principle, it’s a good suggestion. 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.

“So there is no plan to remove fuel subsidy.

“We will be working with various groups to find an alternative if we have to remove it. We are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidy yet,” she said.

Speaking on the meeting with investors, Ahmed described the outing as a successful one, which provided Nigeria with the opportunity to review developments in the global economy and proffer potential solutions.

“In my capacity as representative of 23 African countries, I addressed the IMFC and issued a statement calling for normalisation of trade relations among the contending parties and called for concerted efforts to supporting multilateralism and avoid protectionist sentiments.

“At the G-24 meeting, I drew the attention of the World Bank to some of the challenges we face in implementing our portfolio like the implementation of the new environmental and social safeguards framework which tends to slow down implementation of our infrastructure projects.

“My engagement at the IMFC also focused on the global policy agenda.

“Governors underscored the importance of strengthening market competition, encouraging innovation, tackling weak governance and corruption and meeting the SDGs.

“Governors underlined the importance of strengthening international coordination and cooperation to tackle shared challenges, given the potentially damaging effects of trade tensions on global economic developments, and impact of natural disasters on developing countries,” she said.

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