Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has said that the Federal Government has no immediate plan to remove fuel subsidy.
The minister said this on Thursday, October 17, 2019, while fielding questions from lawmakers at a joint session of the National Assembly committees overseeing the oil sector, TheCable reports.
He said, “This government is not about to remove subsidy because it is difficult. We believe as a government that our people are going through a lot.
“We cannot as a responsible government heap another issue of petroleum price hike or removal of subsidy on Nigerians.
“It is not on the cards at all, we are just looking at how we can manage it.”
According to TheCable, the former governor of Bayelsa state said the official daily consumption rate of petrol in Nigeria does not reflect the actual consumption rate.
Sylva added that the government does not believe that over 60 million litres of fuel are consumed in Nigeria on a daily basis.
He also said that a lot of the fuel is being smuggled and neighbouring countries are taking advantage of the cheaper price.
Sylva revealed that the government is making effort to close up the leakages, adding that when that is achieved, the cost of subsidy would be bearable.
On refineries, the minister said fixing them would help to reduce the cost of subsidy.
He added that the Federal Government is working to get the refineries running again.
Speaking on the declaration of Anambra as an oil-producing state by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister said Jonathan's administration left some things that would have benefited the state undone.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had earlier said that subsidy would gulp N420 billion from 2020 budget.