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We have no plan to remove fuel subsidy – says FG

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The Federal Government has given the assurance that there are no plans to remove fuel subsidy now just as queues emerged in filling stations in some parts of the country.


The Minister of Finance, Ms Zainab Ahmed, said this during a ministerial press briefing at the 2019 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, were also in attendance.


Recall that the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, had last week called on the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy, saying it was the right thing to do.
Lagarde had said that with the low revenue mobilisation that existed in Nigeria in terms of tax to Gross Domestic Product, it was important for the country to remove fuel subsidies and move available funds into improving health, education, and infrastructure, among others.


The IMF had earlier its 2019 Article IV Consultation on Nigeria noted that phasing out implicit fuel subsidies while strengthening social safety nets to mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable would help reduce the poverty gap and free up additional fiscal space in the country.


She had said, “We believe that removing fossil fuel subsidies is the right way to go. If you look at our numbers from 2015, it is no less than about $5.2tn that is spent on fuel subsidies and the consequences thereof.


“I would add as a footnote as far as Nigeria is concerned that, with the low revenue mobilisation that exists in the country in terms of tax to GDP, Nigeria is amongst the lowest. A real effort has to be done in order to maintain a good public finance situation for the country and direct investment towards health, education, and infrastructure.”


Days after Lagarde’s call for fuel subsidy removal, fuel queues resurfaced in Nigeria and worsened as of Saturday

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