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FG seeks VON’s partnership as it ends fuel subsidy



FG seeks VON’s partnership as it ends fuel subsidy
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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has sought partnership with Voice of Nigeria (VON) as the Federal Government ends subsidy regime in June.

The minister, who said this when she visited VON office in Abuja on Tuesday, said it was important for the agency and other media organisations to help sensitise Nigerians on the need to end subsidy.

According to her, ending fuel subsidy will enable government to use funds meant for it for developmental projects among other benefits.

She said that the removal of subsidy which would be formally announced by President Muhammadu Buhari before he handed over power, would begin in June.

Ahmed said that subsidy removal would be one of the numerous legacies the present administration would bequeath the incoming government.

“Your agency is a very important one and I hope we continue to partner because educating the Nigerian populace is important.

“We have a big task ahead of us in the ministry in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

“We made a commitment that we will exit fuel subsidy by June of this year,” she said.

“We cannot afford fuel subsidy anymore and we need your agency and other media organisations to work with us.

“This is to educate the citizens that fuel subsidy is causing us so much deficit and we need to exit it as soon as possible.”

On why the present administration waited till the end of its term to exit subsidy, Ahmed said the process was impeded by a lot of factors.

According to her, economic hardship and the elections are among factors responsible for the delay.


The minister said that besides subsidy removal, the present administration would be remembered for its fight against corruption.

She also said the administration would be remembered for initiating and completing developmental projects.

“Mr president’s anti-corruption fight is working not only on assets recovery as funds are also being recovered and we are using these funds to invest in infrastructure.

“We just got approval from the president to invest about N144 billion in the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road as well as the Second Niger Bridge.

“These are projects the president is trying to complete to commission before the end of his tenure.”

Zainab said that she had seen the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Chairman reporting the number of cases that had been won in court.

According to her, this is from about 250 cases when this administration took over power to about 4,000 successful cases.

The minister assured VON of the ministry’s readiness to support it to cut down cost of operation, particularly in the area of power.

She said moving an agency like VON that depended largely on power from diesel to solar for instance, would go a long way in reducing cost.

Earlier, the Director-General of VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu

thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assisting the agency in the discharge of its duties.

He said the agency, among other things, was able to secure a befitting permanent office through the president’s intervention.

The director-general said, “we are one of the beneficiaries of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft policy.’’


He also said that the approval of the agency’s solar project by the ministry of finance to reduce power cost was also commendable.

Okechukwu further said the present administration’s investment in capital projects such as rehabilitation and construction of roads, dams among others was laudable.


Source – NAN