Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has cleared the air on the controversy generated by the International Monitory Fund (INF) on the removal of fuel subsidy, saying that removing it is not on the cards.
Reacting to IMF’s recent advocacy on the removal of fuel subsidy to free more money for infrastructural development, the minister emphasized that there is no plan by the government to remove fossil fuel subsidies.
Zainab Ahmed spoke to news men along with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the end of the 2019 World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in the United States.
She said: “we are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues. One of the issues that always come up, especially in the IMF Article IV is how we handle fuel subsidy.
“So, in principle, the IMF would say fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources for other important sectors, which is good advice, but in Nigeria, we do not have any plans to remove fuel subsidies at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us 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 out the best approach, if we have to. We discussed this very frequently at the Economic Management Team but what is the alternative? We haven’t yet found viable alternatives. So, we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidies.”