As the energy industry prepares for the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol, the Federal Government says with consideration and possible action, the policy will have a human face.
Reacting to concerns over a continued regulated downstream oil sector, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, on Friday, stated that a lot of consideration is ongoing to buffer what may be a possible shock with subsidy removal.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari suspended that part of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) for 18 months, and will effectively expire in June of this year.
“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,” Aduda said.
“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.”
According to him, buffers need to be in place to ensure that forex is made available for those that will do imports as well as some form of reinforcements where needed.
“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, 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,” he added.