The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said on Monday Nigeria’s revenue has dropped by 65 percent due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the falling price of crude oil in the international market.
The minister stated this while speaking on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme in Abuja.
She said the drop in government’s revenue forced President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the payment of subsidy on petrol.
According to Ahmed, the return of petrol subsidy would lead to fuel scarcity because the government lacked the capacity to pay petroleum marketers.
The minister said: “What we have been doing is not sustainable. If we bring back fuel subsidy, we will fail because we will not be able to pay it and the disputes with marketers will come back.
“Then we will have queues again. We just cannot afford it and therefore this deregulation must be made to work.
“We appeal to Nigerians to understand that in the past when the subsidy was done, we could afford to do it but right now, we cannot pay. Remember that right now our revenue has gone down by about 65 percent. So, it is not business as usual. We cannot do what we used to do anymore.”