ABUJA – Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, has been advised by his transition committee to end a fuel subsidy programme and privatise Nigeria’s four refineries, senior sources in his party told Reuters on Sunday.
Africa’s top oil producer and biggest economy heavily subsidises gasoline and relies on imports for the bulk of its domestic demand due to an underperforming refining system.
The subsidy, which was revealed to have paid out more than $6 billion in fraudulent claims in 2012, is proving to be increasingly costly.
Buhari, who was sworn in as president three weeks ago, is considering the recommendations made in the strategy report produced by a 19-member committee formed from his All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
“The removal of the fuel subsidy is one of the recommendations of the transition committee,” said a senior APC source, who did not want to be named.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“The committee also suggested to Mr President that the four refineries be privatised so that the government stops wasting money on annual turnaround maintenance,” he said.
A second APC source also told Reuters that these recommendations were contained in the report given to Buhari earlier this month.
Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, cut subsidies by 90 percent in the 2015 budget because government revenues have been hit by the slump in oil prices.
Nigeria attempted to end subsidies three years ago, doubling the price of a litre of petrol overnight, in efforts to cut government spending.