The federal government of Nigeria has announced that the fuel subsidy will be extended for another 18 months, pending the National Assembly’s approval of a change to the Petroleum Industry Act.
Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made the announcement while briefing State House media in Abuja on Tuesday, January 25.
President Muhammadu Buhari, cognizant of the severe consequences of removing all subsidies, has generously agreed to extend the deadline to allow the government to put in place essential palliatives, according to Sylva.
He stated that refinery rehabilitation is already underway, and that the Dangote refinery is nearing completion.
“We’re requesting an 18-month extension,” Sylva explained. It is up to the National Assembly to approve.
“We’d authorize an 18-month extension, and then the National Assembly would review it and vote on the change as they see fit.”
“With the President’s signature on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy was planned to be phased off on February 16, 2022.”
However, after thorough consultations with all major stakeholders both inside and outside the government, it was decided to extend the implementation term for the subsidy elimination.
“This extension would give all stakeholders more time to guarantee that the implementation is done properly and that all necessary modalities are in place.” In order to mitigate the impact of the elimination of the PMS subsidy, which is in keeping with current economic reality.
“The President pledges that his administration will continue to take all necessary steps to safeguard the livelihoods of all Nigerians, particularly the most vulnerable,” says the statement.
Sylva, who chairs the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) Implementation Committee, emphasised that the executive branch’s decision to seek a law revision was not influenced by politics.
Rather, he explained that such a measure has become vital to prevent the vulnerable in society from suffering.