TheMinisterof Information and Culture, Lai Mohammedhaspromised to initiate a fact-finding process to determine the state of things on the removal of petroleum subsidy following the announcement on Tuesday by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, that President Muhammadu Buhari has not told anyone to remove it. The minister, who briefed correspondents after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi OsinbajoatthePresidentialVillayesterday, was asked to provide clarity on the issue since the 2022 budget had no subsidy provision beyond June 2022. Muhammed said he neededtoconsultwiththerelevant government agencies to determine the exact position of the subsidy removal question.
“As for the removal of fuel subsidy, I think you will give me time to consult with relevant departments and ministries and I will get back to you,” he said. Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had announced last October that the Federal Government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022 as the government looked towards a complete deregulation of the sector.
“In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidies for the first half of the year; in the second half of the year, we are looking at complete deregulation of the sector, saving foreign exchange and potentially earning more from the oil and gas industry,” Ahmed had said. But while speaking with correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari Tuesday, the Senate President had declared that Buhari had not directed anyone in his administration to implement the removal of petroleum subsidy.