The Federal Government has said it plans to extend the implementation of the removal of fuel subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) to 2023. But this is subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.
Sylva said the government is proposing to extend the period for the removal of subsidy by 18 months, adding that plans have been concluded to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
According to the Minister, “We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension, and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.
“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.
“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.
“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.
“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.
“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime.”