Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this on Sunday at a joint press briefing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele at the end of the 2019 World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in United States.
She said: “We are here to discuss with the global community on various policy issues. One of the issues that always come up, especially in the IMF Article IV is how we handle fuel subsidy.
So in principle, the IMF would say fuel subsidies are better removed so that you can use the resources for other important sectors, which is a good advice. “But in Nigeria, we do not have any plans to remove fuel subsidies at this time because we have not yet designed buffers that will enable us remove the subsidy and provide cushions for our people.”
She added: “So there is no plan to remove fuel subsidy. We will be working with various groups to find out the best approach, if we have to. “We discussed this very frequently at the Economic Management Team but what is the alternative? “We haven’t yet found viable alternatives, so we are not yet at the point of removing fuel subsidies.”
Ahmed also stated there are plans by the Debt Management Office (DMO) to issue N15 billion Green Bond to fund agriculture, power, health and water amenities to make life better for the people, saying the Green Bond will be the second one and would be used to finance agriculture, power sector – mostly solar projects – as well as for some in the water sector.
She pointed out that the projects for which the funds will be applied, “must be green. They must be projects that are not contributing to carbon dioxide emissions to the society. “The first green bond issuance was successful and all the projects that were scheduled to have been financed have been done and the projects are at various levels of completion.”