THE National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday passed the buck on the decision to remove subsidy on petrol to the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The federal government had before now slated June 2023 for the removal of subsidy on petrol.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zaniab Ahmed, gave the indication on Thursday, shortly after a meeting of NEC, which was chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
The minister said the NEC, which comprises state governors, deliberated on the issue extensively and came to the conclusion that it will not be wise to remove subsidy as soon as the new administration is trying to settle down to governance.
She also noted that the existing committee that has been discussing the fuel subsidy issue needed to be expanded to enable more input from concerned Nigerians.
She specifically said there was needed to interface more with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and petroleum marketers’ association, among others.
The issue of subsidy has been a controversial policy in Nigeria over the decades going back to the second republic, with organised labour led by the NLC leading a resistance against subsidy removal and full deregulation of the petroleum sector.
But the Buhari government has continued to argue that the Petroleum Industry Bill, which President Buhari had signed into law in August 2021, does not create room for subsidy.