Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, has said the Nigerian government has no plan to remove fuel subsidy “at this time”.
She was speaking at a joint news conference with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, at the end of the 2019 World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in the United States.
On the IMF’s advice on fuel subsidy, she said:
“We are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues. One of the issues that always come up, especially in the IMF Article IV, is how we handle fuel subsidy.
“So, in principle, the IMF would say fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources for other important sectors, which is good advice, but in Nigeria, we do not 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 also said there were no plans to remove fuel subsidy at the moment.
“So, there is no plan to remove fuel subsidy. We will be working with various groups to find out the best approach if we have to. We discussed this very frequently at the Economic Management Team, but what is the alternative? We haven’t yet found viable alternatives. So, we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidies.”