The federal government says fuel subsidy is still in place contrary to the believe that it has been removed completely.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made this known yesterday while appearing on Channels Television.
The government had recently announced the removal of the subsidy on petrol and this led to the increase in petrol and electricity prices across Nigeria.
Featuring on Today Politics programme of the broadcast station, Mr Sylva said the government was still subsidising petrol and it would have been more costly than it is presently if it hands off.
“We are still trying to manage this bumpy start. We have not been able to get to that 100 per cent removal of subsidy from the foreign exchange end,” the minister said.
“If we were to take it out completely and allow people to access foreign exchange from the parallel market and allow people to import the product, the price of the pump will even be more.
“The Federal Government, knowing the impact it will have on the people, decided that they are still going to manage this situation,” he added.
Sylva said he does not see the recent agreement to import the product from Niger republic as an embarrassment, adding that Nigerians should be proud of such development which encourages regional trade.
“I don’t see that as an embarrassment at all. Nigeria is a big market. We need products. Even if all our refineries are functioning, we will still need extra products,” he said
“Niger Republic produces oil and they are landlocked as a country. They have a refinery that refines in excess of what they require.
“They offered to sell the excess to Nigeria because this is a bigger market. In the spirit of regional cooperation, regional trade, we decided to buy from them. I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Sylva stated.