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Nigerian Government Pumps Brakes on Fuel Subsidy Cut, Extends Deliberation Period

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ABUJA, Nigeria – In a surprising turn of events, the Federal Government has announced the suspension of its earlier plans to cut fuel subsidies by June this year.

Finance, Budget, and National Planning Minister, Ahmed Zainab, made the announcement after the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Minister Zainab explained on Thursday,  April 27, 2023, that the NEC, comprising State Governors, had extensively discussed the issue and unanimously agreed that it would be unwise to implement the controversial cut at such an early stage in the new administration’s tenure.

“The NEC has deliberated on the fuel subsidy removal extensively,” Minister Zainab said. “We have come to the conclusion that it will not be wise to proceed with the removal just as the new administration is trying to settle down to governance.”

The finance minister further underscored the need for an expanded and more inclusive discussion on the matter. The existing committee, which had previously been focused on the fuel subsidy issue, is set to be enlarged to ensure more comprehensive input from concerned Nigerians.

“We need a broader committee to give all stakeholders a voice in these crucial discussions,” Zaniab said. “There needs to be more interface with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), more engagement with the petroleum marketers’ association, among others.”

This announcement is seen as a significant departure from the Federal Government’s previous stance on fuel subsidies, and it is expected to have far-reaching implications on the country’s energy sector and the wider economy. Further updates will be provided as the expanded committee begins its deliberations.

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