NEC holds valedictory session, to consult governors before subsidy removal
The National Economic Council (NEC) has agreed that the timing for the removal of oil subsidy should not be now but preparation work has to be done in consultation with the State Governments and other key stakeholders.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, stated this when she addressedd State House correspondents on the outcome of the valedictory session of NEC.
The meeting was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
She said the council also agreed to form an expanded committee to look at the process for the removal of the fuel subsidy.
According to the minister, this include determining the exact time and the measures that need to be taken to provide support to the poor and the vulnerable as well as ensure the availability of petroleum products across the country.
”Yes, What I said is that it is not going to be removed now – which means it will not be removed before the transition is completed.
”But then we’ve two laws that have inadvertently made the provision that we should exit by June.
”So if the committee’s work, which will include the representatives of the incoming administration, determined that the removal can be done by June than the work plan will be designed to exit as at June.
”But if the determination is that the period is extended it will mean that as a country, we will have to revisit the Appropriation Act for example, because the 2023 budget only made provision upto June.
”So if we’re extending beyond June it means we have to revisit the appropriation Act or amend the PIA.
”So these are the reasons why we had to do this consultation, we would like to get inputs from the governors, they’re going to provide us their representatives to work together with us to have a defined process that will take us towards the removal.
”But one thing that is clear is everybody agrees that the subsidy should be removed very quickly because the cost is only not inefficient but is also not sustainable, and that when the time comes for removal, the removal will be done once and for all.”
Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa disclosed that the council took reports of the presidential committee on flooding.
He said the committee was saddled with the responsibility of aggregating the causes of flooding, the losses incurred in the recent time and possible palliatives for victims.
He disclosed that 16 states had so far submitted their reports on flooding while the remaining 20 were expected to do same before the overall reports of the presidential committee would be presented to the National Executive Council.