The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said Nigeria’s revenue has dropped by about 65 per cent.
According to her, this was what necessitated the decision of the President, Muhammadu Buhari to discontinue the payment of petrol subsidy.
Ahmed disclosed this on NTA’s Good Morning Nigeria TV programme on Monday. She said if the government brings back fuel subsidy, it will lead to fuel scarcity as the government would be unable to pay marketers.
She said, “What we are doing is not sustainable. If we bring back fuel subsidy, it will fail because we will not be able to pay it and the problem of disputes with marketers will come back; then we 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 anymore”.
The minister said Nigeria is facing difficult times at the moment just like many other countries of the world. She further added that the price of crude oil would therefore determine the price of petrol.
When asked the possibility of subsidy returning if the price of crude oil bounces back to what it was the previous years, the finance minister said it was unlikely going to happen.
However, she stated that the decision remains that subsidy would not return,