The Federal Government has explained why it is not considering subsidy removal. It has not found the right formula to cushion its effect, Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said yesterday.

According to her, the government would have to find a workable formula before ending subsidy payment.

“But for now”, Ahmed said, “the government is yet to find the right formula which would provide succour to the people when subsidy is removed. Hence, there is no intention to remove fuel subsidy at this time.”

The minister, who spoke yesterday at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, that the Executive and the National Assembly would have to work together on the issue.

She also noted that the current subsidy regime, which is under the monopoly of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is cheaper compared to the previous regime.

Mrs. Ahmed said: “In some countries, they provide buses to transport people, in some countries they provide subsidies for people that are directly requiring the subsidies.

“We have not found a way to do it. What we are doing now, the subsidy, it is everybody that is benefiting, whereas it should be the people that are really vulnerable that need.

“So, in the Executive with the support of the legislature, we have to find a formula that will work for Nigeria. And until we do that, we should not be contemplating removing the subsidy because, indeed when we do, there will be people that will suffer. So, we are not yet there.

“We discussed this periodically under the Economic Management Team. But we still haven’t found a formula that works for Nigeria. And you know that Nigeria is unique. What works for Ghana might not work here.

“So, it’s still work in progress and there is no intention to remove fuel subsidy at this time.”