The Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that the government will remove the controversial petrol subsidy before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure on May 29, 2023.
Ahmed explained that the delay in the removal of the subsidy, as provided for in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, was due to the 2023 general election and the forthcoming national population census.
However, the government has not yet decided on how to mitigate the effect of the proposed fuel subsidy removal on the citizens. Ahmed urged the incoming administration to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from the current 7.5 per cent to 10 per cent.
She said the subsidy removal was a difficult political and economic decision for the government to take, but it was necessary since the subsidy was not serving the people it was meant to serve, and its high cost was adding to the government’s deficit.
The subsidy cost per liter of petrol ranged between N350 to N400, and Nigeria spends about N250 billion monthly on the subsidy.