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We ‘Re Not Paying Subsidy, FG Tackles World Bank 

The Federal Government has vehemently dismissed the World Bank’s assertion that Nigeria is still paying subsidies on petrol, declaring that the era of petrol subsidies is “gone for good.”

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said this, saying that President Bola Tinubu has been steadfast in his commitment to ending subsidy payments since his first day in office.

In an exclusive interview on Channels TV, Minister Idris asserted that the removal of the subsidy has led to a substantial increase in revenue flowing into the federation account.

Contrary to the World Bank’s suggestion, he declared, “Subsidy is gone, and the President told Nigerians from his first day in office that there won’t be subsidy (on petrol).”

The World Bank’s lead economist for Nigeria, Alex Sienaert, had raised concerns during the presentation of the Nigeria Development Update (NDU) on Wednesday.

Sienaert indicated that current fuel prices in Nigeria were not cost-reflective, suggesting that the Federal Government might still be subsidizing petrol.

 He proposed that Nigerians should be paying around N750 per litre instead of the current N650.

In response, Minister Idris emphasized, “If you look at the monies accruing to the federation account and the kind of money the states are receiving, you would know that everybody desires that subsidy should go. 

What do we do with that subsidy, I think, is the next question. We need to scrutinize that so that Nigerians would have the benefit of the subsidy that has been taken away. Subsidy is gone.”

Despite the government’s stance, reports indicate that petrol prices have surged, with rates exceeding N700 per litre in certain regions, causing significant economic strain on citizens.

 Critics argue that the World Bank’s recommendation is not aligned with the realities on the ground, urging the Federal Government to explore home-grown solutions to address economic challenges.

It is worth noting that in September, there were reports of the government paying N169.4 billion as subsidy in August, contradicting President Bola Tinubu’s previous assurances that the subsidy regime had been eradicated. 

The conflicting information has sparked a debate on the effectiveness of the government’s subsidy policies and the need for transparent communication on economic matters.

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