Subsidy removal: FG yet to conclude on palliatives – Minister
The federal government has revealed that no conclusion has been reached on how to mitigate its effect on citizens, with about three months to the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba told newsmen, Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that notwithstanding the works of the committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for about a year now, nothing definite has been agreed on the matter.
Agba, fielding questions on the consequences of the subsidy removal without necessary palliatives to lessen the impact, however, expressed optimism that the committee working with state governors will arrive at a common position on the matter.
Continuing, he said there is no timeline for Osinbajo’s committee to conclude the discussion which, according to him, is ongoing.
He recalled that under the federal government’s 2022 to 2023 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, a proposal of N3.3trillion was made for fuel subsidy between January and June 2023.
Agba said: “For over a year plus now, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has been leading a committee working on this and the National Economic Council also has a committee that has also been working on this.
“So, the stage that we are in now is how to finalize the suggestions that have come out from both the federal government and the governors side.
“Like you know, it is something that is going to affect the entire nation.
“They will just have to ensure that everyone is carried along, that is both the federal and subnational governments.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who also briefed the newsmen, announced the postponement of the 2023 population and housing census earlier scheduled for March 29.
The Minister said this came following the postponement and rescheduled governorship elections to March 18 by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He also revealed that the Council approved N2.8bn for the National Population Commission to procure software to be deployed for the census.
“There was a memo presented by the National Population Commission, seeking for some software to allow them conduct the census in May this year.
“I believe because of the rescheduling of the elections, they cannot commence the census as planned.
“They sought Council’s approval for a contract to procure software for the census at the sum of N2.8bn,” he said.