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The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, speaks on the issues of fuel subsidies. In her statement yesterday, she said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has been borrowing money just to fund all petrol subsidies in the country.
In Abuja yesterday, the Finance Minister disclosed in a public presentation of the details of the 2023 budget the issues surrounding fuel subsidies. She stated that "the fuel subsidy cost was a very high one; we have been funding it by borrowing." According to her presentation, she said that the fuel subsidy will remain in place until mid-2023 based on the 18-month extension period that was earlier announced in 2022. The finance minister said with regards to this, only N3.36 trillion had been made available for the subsidy.
Early last year, it was announced that President Buhari's administration would end fuel subsidies by July 2022. This announcement did not see fruition, as he was advised to reconsider by party members and some of his officials.
The Buhari administration was convinced that ending the subsidy would cause negative public ratings for his administration and the ruling party, APC, and also risk a nationwide labour protest. The date was then adjusted to June 2023, which should be a month after President Buhari's administration has left office. The finance minister also said the reconciliation between the ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC LTD) is still ongoing to determine what revenue from petroleum would be channeled to the federal account.
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