The Minister of Communication and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the Federal Government cannot, at the moment, remove subsidies on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.
Mohammed, who spoke during an exclusive interview to Reuters in London, said many other nations were introducing measures to help citizens cope with high oil energy prices, hence Africa’s most populous country could not be an exception.
The federal government had earlier postponed the planned petrol subsidy removal till further notice, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.
Addressing the newsmen, the minister said, “When you consider the chaos, the social disharmony and … instability such an action (abolishing subsidies) would facilitate, is it worth it? I don’t think so.”
On the pipeline vandalism, Mohammed said the new petroleum industry law that allocates money to oil-producing communities would stop attacks, blaming the European Union’s climate change policies for stifling investment in the sector.
“We believe that climate change is real and important for emission control, but there is a bit of double standard in the EU policy regarding climate change,” he said.