Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy Removal Ill-Timed - Economist

Fuel pump.
22 September 2020

An economist, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, has faulted deregulation of the oil sector by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, describing it as ill-timed.

Tella, a Professor of Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, in an interview, said it was "added burden and increase of poverty in the country.

"I support it (removal of subsidy), but I don't support it as of now because the fundamental poverty alleviating measures have not been put in place," he said.

Prof. Tella advised the government to provide tax relief and palliatives for the people and even for companies that are going to produce goods.

"We ought to have made sure that the economy is in good shape, price could not rise before we remove the subsidy. We must deregulate. But we must remove subsidies in order to curb corruption in the sector."

Tella was also worried that the removed subsidy funds would be stolen or spent "on things that will not bring about development to the nation's economy.

"Nigeria is the only country that produces oil and imports refined oil on higher cost. So, we must use that subsidy in a way that will bring about relief and succour to the economy," he said.

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