The Federal Government has rescinded plans to remove payment of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit(PMS), also known as
petrol after June this year as provided for in the 2022 budget, insisting that the planned removal of fuel subsidy was no longer possible.
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budgets and National Planning stated this when she briefed leadership of the Senate at the conference room of the Senate President on Monday, on the circumstances that led to the suspension of the six -month subsidy removal plan.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, had in October 2021, disclosed that the 2022 budget would make provision for petrol subsidy for the first 6 months alone.
In this latest development the Minister told the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, that there was heightened inflationary pressure on the economy, noting that the planned removal would further worsen the economic hardship of Nigerians.
She said, “ Practically there is heightened inflation and the removal of the subsidy on PMS will further worsen the situation thereby imposing more difficulties on the citizens and Mr. President will clearly not want to do this .
“In terms of putting in place a number of ensures to cushion the effect, one of which is the deployment of CNG for vehicles and the plan to roll out enhanced refining capacity including the 650,000 barrel per day Dangote refinery and the completion of the country’s local refineries with a combined nameplate of 450,000 bpd.
“The executive may be forwarding a request for parliamentary approval for additional funds to cover for the payment of subsidy on PMS from July, 2022,” she concluded.
The Senate President in his remark appealed to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve the proposed nationwide strike, insisting that such demonstration is unnecessary since there is no longer fuel subsidy removal this year.