The Federal Government says it will take care of petrol subsidy in the first six months of 2022.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at a panel session during the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#27) in Abuja.
She said the Federal Government had made provision for petrol subsidy till the end of June next year, adding that complete deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector will start by July 2022.
“In our 2022 budget, we only factored in subsidy for the first half of the year; 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.”
Chairman of the economic advisory council (EAC), Doyin Salami, said that he had argued for a long time on the issue of the subsidy.
He also said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) made the payment of subsidy of petrol illegal.
“With the PIA essentially it makes illegal petrol subsidy and yes, there is a period where NNPC and the new regulatory agencies must calibrate themselves, but at the end of this period – and I think it is about six months, which explains why the minister has said for the first half of the year, there is a provision.”
“My view will be if we could get it done sooner than that, it will be excellent. It releases money. The key point is simply this: we are now, any which way, at the tail end of that conversation, except if we choose not to obey the law. My sense is we will obey the law and subsidy will be gone.”