The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government would put an end to petroleum subsidy by June 2023.
Ahmed disclosed this during a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, in marking the end of the 28th National Economic Summit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that fuel subsidy gulped N2.565 trillion between January and August 2022.
In the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, the Federal Government has proposed an estimated N3.3 trillion on fuel subsidy between January and June 2023.
According to Ahmed, removal of fuel subsidy is part of the Federal Government’s medium-term plan in the budget, even though it was yet to figure out how the removal would be done.
“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,” she said.
The minister asserted that the fuel subsidy, in addition to budget deficit, is putting enormous pressure on the “fiscals”.
“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 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 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 added.