The Federal Government on Monday said it has shelved plans to remove fuel subsidy this year.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this while speaking to reporters after meeting with Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja over the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the Federal Government.
Those at the meeting include the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi and Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
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Also present were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authourity, Farouk Ahmed; Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe.
Speaking with journalists after the closed door session, Sylva said the outcome of the meeting was that removal of fuel subsidy at this moment is not in the plate at all.
“Government is not considering removing subsidy, but there are some legislative issues we need to discuss with the National Assembly.
“You know that there is a law passed and there are some provisions of the law which we need to tackle.
“We have sat with the National Assembly and we are fully on the same page. Everything boils down to the fact that subsidy removal will not happen.”
On what is wrong with the timing, Sylva said: “You know when you pass a law, it is not cast in stone. In implementing the law, you come across some impediments to implementation. We have to remove those impediments.
“Before subsidy is removed certain things have to be put in place to protect the Nigerian people.
“Have we put all those things in place now? We feel we need some time to put everything in place so that when subsidy is removed, it will have minimal impact on the suffering people.”