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JUST IN: FG puts fuel subsidy removal on hold after Labour unions threat

By News Desk

The Federal Government has concluded plans to put the removal of fuel subsidy on hold with a decision to make provisions for the subsidy payment beyond June 2022, the earlier approved date for its cancellation.

It said that after a thorough evaluation of the action, the government reconsider its decision on the planned fuel subsidy removal after the 2022 budget was passed by the National Assembly.

Announcing the government decision, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, during a meeting with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

Lawan had convened the meeting, also attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and representatives of oil companies, amid the controversy over the removal of fuel subsidy by the government.

Ahmed stated that fuel subsidy was provided for in the 2022 budget to run from January till June, but after consultations with stakeholders and in view of the high inflation and economic hardship, additional provisions would be made beyond the initial period.

According to her, it has become clear that the timing for the fuel subsidy removal would be problematic as the country was still experiencing a high inflation ratio.

She admitted that removing the fuel subsidy at this period would ultimately worsen the condition of Nigerians, especially those struggling to make ends meet.

Sylva, on his part, aligned himself with the position of the finance minister, stressing that removing fuel subsidy this period was bad timing, politically and economically.

In his response, the Senate President appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned industrial action over subsidy removal as it has become unnecessary.

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