‘We can’t continue’ — Zainab Ahmed says Nigeria losing N250bn monthly to fuel subsidy

‘We can’t continue’ — Zainab Ahmed says Nigeria losing N250bn monthly to fuel subsidy

The Cable

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says the government can no longer sustain petrol subsidy payments which currently stand at about N250 billion monthly.

Briefing state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Ahmed said the payments were no longer sustainable.

The finance minister explained that the federal government will end fuel subsidy by 2022 and replace it with a N5000-a-month transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians.

“So the Petroleum Industry Act has a provision that all petroleum products must be deregulated. And in the 2022 budget, we made a provision to assume that at the maximum by the end of June, we must exit subsidy,” Ahmed said.

“So this last FAAC, the subsidy cost to the federation was N243 billion. So if we look at a cost of about 250 billion per month, and it has been increasing consistently. So we’re expecting something around N120 billion per month from NNPC. And now we’re getting to a point where NNPC is remitting near zero.

“And if we don’t stop we will get to a point where they will tell you: ‘Pay me this for managing the fuel provision in the country’.

“So if you take 250 billion times 12 months, that is about N3 trillion. If we don’t remove that, that is what it is costing us. This is money that we can use to apply to health and education.

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