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In a press statement on Wednesday, the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun announced the Federal Government’s approval of a N407.07 billion fuel subsidy to oil marketers.
The massive subsidy includes a payment for arrears accrued during the 2014 fiscal year, as well as payments for 2015. In her statement Minister Adeosun explained that the approval was granted after President Muhammadu Buhari issued a directive that the oil marketers be paid immediately in order to end the fuel scarcity within the country.
The fuel scarcity crisis began roughly one month ago and has inflicted severe hardships upon the Nigerian people. The decision to provide the fuel subsidy comes after the World Bank reportedly advised the Buhari Administration to remove the subsidy entirely. The international financial institution argued that the fuel subsidy provides “modest benefits” to the citizenry, but the costs of the subsidy are “quite high”.
This subsidy comes after increasing criticism of President Buhari’s leadership in Nigeria as many Nigerians face hardship because of the high cost of fuel. President Buhari has sent clear signals to the Nigerian public that he would take a personal interest in reforming the oil and petroleum sector in Nigeria.