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Nigeria Losing N250bn Monthly To Fuel Subsidy – Zainab Ahmed

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Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed says the government currently spends about  N250 billion monthly on subsidy payments.

The minister who stated this while briefing state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, said the payments were no longer sustainable.

She said: “So the Petroleum Industry Act has a provision that all petroleum products must be deregulated. And in the 2022 budget, we made a provision to assume that at the maximum by the end of June, we must exit subsidy,” 

Also Read: Cameroon Shut Down Refinery Because of Cheap Fuel From Nigeria; El-rufai

“So this last FAAC, the subsidy cost to the federation was N243 billion. So if we look at a cost of about 250 billion per month, and it has been increasing consistently. So we’re expecting something around N120 billion per month from NNPC. And now we’re getting to a point where NNPC is remitting near zero.

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“And if we don’t stop we will get to a point where they will tell you: ‘Pay me this for managing the fuel provision in the country’.

“So if you take 250 billion times 12 months, that is about N3 trillion. If we don’t remove that, that is what it is costing us. This is money that we can use to apply to health and education.

“The intervention we want to provide, it’s for between 20 to 40 million people and there is still a lot of work going on. We have a committee that is chaired by His Excellency the Vice President, state governors and a few of us ministers as members. So we have to have a landing as to the exact number between 20 to 40 million.

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“We already agreed it will be N5000 and we have also agreed that the remittances have to be done digitally. So the eNaira will help but so also will the various payment platforms that are currently available. What we will not do is paying people in cash.

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Also Read: Fuel Subsidy will be Replaced with N5,000 Transport Grant for 40m Poor Nigerians; Zainab Ahmed

“So, the transfers that people will receive through one kind of electronic money or the other and it’s meant to be for a period of six, nine or 12 months.

“So, these are things that we are still in negotiation because it’s still money that would have to come from the federation account. So everybody that is a member of FAAC will have to agree on the numbers. The maximum will be 12 months, the minimum will be six months.”

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