With barely two months to the proposed removal of fuel subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, the federal government has said it is putting in place strategies to cushion the effect of the removal on Nigerians.
The move comes amidst mixed reactions about the proposed fuel subsidy removal. While others have strongly suggested that the fuel subsidy should be implemented, others have said the country is not ready for it and refineries should be functional before it is considered.
Speaking on the development, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, on Friday, stated that much is being considered and looked into to cushion the shock.
Aduda said the government is considering a human face to the implementation of the policy.
Also, he said the government has to make available forex for those that will do imports as well as some form of reinforcements where needed.
Aduda stated that “Subsidy removal is one that has been with us for a long time and I want to tell you that my minister is taking it very seriously – and all of us in the industry – because we totally understand the importance of the removal of subsidy.
“But we also understand the greater importance of the citizens in the scheme of things. And as we speak, we’re still taking a very close look at how best to achieve subsidy without disrupting the entire ecosystem of livelihoods in Nigeria because that is our responsibility as government.
“There is quite a lot we need to put in place. And we also have to ensure that supplies are available for a minimum of six months ahead to ensure that, if we finally do that, the disruptions will be minimal.
“When looking at all of that, there are quite a number of factors that we need to look at. But yes, the government is committed to removal, but we can’t be too specific until all the indices have been considered to ensure that the effect is not too hard on the average Nigerian.”