The outgoing Federal Government plans a six-month petrol consumption reserve to mitigate the effect of the impending subsidy removal.
The subsidy removal is expected to take effect July 1. More than one month after the May 29 exit of the Buhari administration.
The government has earmarked N3 trillion for subsidy payment in the 2023 budget between January and June.
Some experts, including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), have argued that its removal will bring down Nigeria’s foreign debt and stimulate investment in the industry.
They, however, urged the government to cushion its effects on Nigerians.
The plans were announced by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda at the press briefing marking the end of the Sixth Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja.
According to him, the government will ensure a minimum of six-month sufficiency stock of petrol prior to the final phasing out of the subsidy regime.
The government had earlier removed the subsidies on diesel and kerosene.
The permanent secretary said the government will minimise the disruption of the subsidy removal on the economy.
Asked to explain what the government has put in place ahead of the subsidy removal, Aduda said: “I want to tell you that the ministry is taking it very seriously and all of us because we totally understand the removal of subsidy.
“But we also understand the greater importance of the citizens in the scheme of things. And as we speak, we are still taking a very close look at how best to achieve subsidy without disrupting the system of livelihood in Nigeria because that is our responsibility as a government.
“We have to ensure that that forex is made available for those that will do import. We have to ensure that there is some form of reforms where there needs to be.
“We have to ensure supplies are available for a minimum of six months. We have to ensure that when we finally do that the disruption will be minimal.
“There are quite a number of factors we have to look at. Yes, we are committed to the removal but we can’t be too certain until every indices have been considered to ensure that the effect on the removal is not so hard on the average Nigerian.”