Zainab Ahmed: No immediate plan to remove fuel subsidy

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, says the federal government has no immediate plans to remove subsidy on petroleum products.

The minister told the Nigerian delegation at the close of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group that subsidies will not be removed until buffers are designed.

“There is no imminent plan to remove subsidy. One of the issues that always come up, especially in the IMF Article IV is how we handle fuel subsidies,” she said on Sunday.

“So in principle, the IMF would say fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources can be utilised for other important sectors, which is good advice.

“But in Nigeria, we don’t have any plans to remove fuel subsidies at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us to remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people.”

She said the economic management team has not found alternatives to subsidy hence, the government’s decision to retain it.

The minister also disclosed the federal government’s plan to issue a N15 billion green bond to finance projects in the agricultural, power and water sectors.

“The essence is that the projects must be green, they must projects that are not contributing to carbon dioxide emissions to society.

“The first green bond was successful and all the projects that were scheduled to have been financed have been done, and the projects are at various levels of completion.”

Ahmed had previously described IMF’s advice of removing subsidies as a good one adding that the government would remove subsidies gradually.

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