Saturday, October 15, 2011

Govt unveils plan to reduce pain of subsidy removal

14 October 2011

Deregulation to have human face, Jonathan assures

Subsidy  to go in phases

Accruing funds for infrastructure, jobs, others

Leaders say govt made little progress in five years

THE direction the planned deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry would take in 2012 was given by President Goodluck Jonathan and other senior public functionaries yesterday.

First the policy will be executed in phases and in a responsible manner, Jonathan said. This responsible manner was explained by a top government official as the inclusion of a range of palliatives to cushion the effects arising from the removal of fuel subsidy next January.

Jonathan, who for the first time commented on the controversial policy since he submitted his Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) on October 4, 2011 to the National Assembly, which the removal of fuel subsidy is a major pillar, said the Federal Government would execute it in phases.

The President, who allayed growing fears that the already financially and emotionally sapped ordinary Nigerians by the downturn in the economy would suffer more, said the deregulation exercise would be done in a “deliberate and responsible way.”

He said: “In the event of deregulation, this administration will invest the resources in tangible infrastructure and provide social safety nets and other mechanisms to moderate the impact of the reforms on the most vulnerable segments of our society.”

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