The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed plans by the federal government to end petroleum subsidy in June 2023.
Ahmed made the disclosure on Tuesday at a press conference to mark the end of the 28th National Economic Summit.
According to reports, fuel subsidy gulped N2.565 trillion between January and August 2022, with the federal government proposing to spend N3.3 trillion on fuel subsidy between January and June 2023 via its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
Ahmed revealed that the fuel subsidy removal is part of the federal government’s medium-term plan in the budget.
She added that the challenge is how to go about the removal.
“First, we have to engage. We have already engaged with the states and the public before it was approved as part of the medium-term plan.
“We have to do it by systematically informing the citizens about the size and the quantum of the fuel subsidy.
“We also have to educate them about the opportunity cost of what we are unable to do because of the fuel subsidy.
“It is not money that we have; it is money that we have to borrow to maintain the fuel subsidy.
“Some countries introduced subsidy during the COVID-19, and because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but they are using their money to fund such subsidy.
“In our case, we are borrowing to pay the subsidy; that is double jeopardy. It is something that has to stop
“We are glad that the majority of people in decision-making positions, including the political parties, have agreed that subsidy is not sustainable.
”The plan is, by June 2023, we must have completely exited subsidy, and it has to be a gradual process”, she stated.