December 14, 2020

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 46)

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the average price paid for premium motor spirit (petrol) by consumers increased by 10.79 percent year-on-year to N161.17 in October 2020 from N145.48 in October 2019.1 This increase can be attributed to the removal of fuel subsidy which is driven by the government’s inability to generate sufficient revenue to fund the subsidy.2 Going forward, pump price is expected to be market-determined, as pump prices will no longer be fixed. From an environmentally sustainable perspective, the subsidy removal is a commendable development in disincentivizing the use of fossil fuel and incentivizing the use of renewable energy while reducing the crowding out of public revenue. However, the subsidy reform is being introduced in a worsening economic climate with implications on the living standard of most citizens. The government can leverage on the opportunity presented by the pandemic to introduce additional structural reforms such as streamlining government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in order to make resources available for development spending.

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