Nigeria’s revenue has dropped by about 65 per cent, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says.
Ahmed said this on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Monday.
She explained that this was what nessitated the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to discontinue the payment of petrol subsidy
She said if the petrol subsidy returns, it would lead to fuel scarcity because the government would not be able to pay marketers.
She said, “What we have been doing is not sustainable. If we bring back fuel subsidy, we will fail because we will not be able to pay it and the problem of disputes with marketers will come back, then we will have queues again. We just cannot afford it and therefore this deregulation must be made to work.
“We appeal to Nigerians to understand that in the past when subsidy was done, we could afford to do it but right now, we cannot pay. Remember that right now our revenue has gone down by about 65 per cent. So, it is not business as usual. We cannot do what we used to do anymore.”
The minister who stated that the price of petrol would henceforth be determined by the price of crude oil, added that Nigeria is currently facing difficult times like many other countries around the world.
When asked if subsidy would return if the price of crude oil bounces back to how it was in previous years, Ahmed said it was unlikely that would happen.
She also said that the decision remains that subsidy would not return.