The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said the plans to remove fuel subsidy will start in 2023.
Naija News reports that the spokesperson for the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said this on Tuesday in Abuja during the launch of The Progressives Forum.
He stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited is remitting all its revenue into subsidising fuel for Nigerians which makes it non-viable, adding that there is no longer any justification to retain subsidy.
The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that some measures should be put in place to cushion the effect of the removal of the subsidy on the poor.
He said, “As a progressive party, we believe there must be intervention in the lives of the very poor and the middle class.
“That is why we have conditional cash transfers to the very poor. That is the philosophy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is the philosophy of APC. We care a lot for the poor.
“If it were to be other government existing today as I speak with you, there would be no subsidy now.
“But President Muhammadu Buhari said before we remove it, we need to put some measures in place to cushion the effect on the poor because there is no longer any justification to retain subsidy as I speak with you today.
“We are in government, we cannot hide it again from the masses, from the people. We must all keep saying that subsidy has eaten deep into our country, into our economy.”
The minister disclosed that the Nigerian government relies on revenue generated by the Federal Inland Money Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service, and some other government agencies to pay salaries.
He added: “Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is no longer remitting money to Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). So, all the money they earn goes to subsidy. So, the government has to rely on revenue from Customs, from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), from others to pay salaries and other things.
“But it is still the sympathy that the President has for the poor because he feels that we have to put measures in place to cushion the effect on the poor before they remove subsidy. And that is why they’ve pushed it to sometime next year. The conversation on how to remove subsidy will begin.”
This article was originally published on Naija News