LCCI faults suspension of subsidy removal


The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has criticised the decision of the Federal Government to suspend the planned removal of subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit, commonly referred to as petrol.

A statement signed by LCCI Director-General, Chinyere Almona, said the chamber was concerned about the huge cost of petrol subsidy over the years and its implications on social and infrastructural developments.

The statement read partly, “We believe the economic well-being of Nigerians, private and corporate, should be the focus of the government. These include debilitating inflation, currently at 22.04 per cent, worsening exchange rate, disturbing levels of unemployment, high-interest rates, and uncompetitive high operating costs. These conditions are quite inimical to growth.

“The government has spent more than N10tn of its scarce resources on petrol subsidy in less than two years. The budgeted cost of petrol subsidy is N3.36tn in the first half of 2023. With the decision to delay the subsidy removal, it becomes imperative to make provisions for an additional N3.5tn in the supplementary budget for the incoming administration. This is largely unsustainable.”

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According to the chamber, there is a great and urgent need for the government to thoroughly evaluate its economic realities and adequately put plans and measures in place to mitigate the negative consequences of subsidy removal on Nigerians in the short term.

LCCI further noted that the delay will have significant implications for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, which may require amendments.

According to the chamber, the government needs to focus on the completion of the turnaround maintenance of our local refineries, as well as ensure that well-equipped modular refineries are empowered and supported.

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