FG To Save ₦‎8 Trillion Annually From Fuel Subsidy Removal, FX Reform – Taiwo Oyedele

by J.J Olawuyi

The Chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, Taiwo Oyedele, has stated that the Federal Government is expected to save approximately N8 trillion annually from the removal of fuel subsidies and the unification of exchange rates.

Speaking at a panel session during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2024 Economic Outlook and Budget Analysis, Oyedele emphasized the importance of using the saved funds to alleviate the challenges faced by the average Nigerian.

He called for intentional spending to positively impact the citizens, addressing issues such as multidimensional poverty and promoting exports, services, and intellectual property.

Oyedele recommended the suspension of “nuisance taxes” that frustrate people, suggesting that the government create digital opportunities for the youthful population to generate $20 billion annually from the technology sector.

Additionally, the panel advised the government to promote exports, including services and intellectual property, and address existing loopholes in diaspora remittances to ensure that foreign currencies are not diverted by middlemen.

Ben Akabueze, the Director General of the Budget Office, expressed concern about the country’s reliance on deficit budgets over the past three decades, leading to a rising debt profile.

He emphasized the need to raise public revenues and highlighted the importance of effective spending rather than less spending.

Bismarck Rewane, the CEO of Financial Derivatives, outlined key economic challenges facing Nigeria, including sub-optimal and non-inclusive growth, increasing income inequality, high poverty and unemployment rates, spiraling inflation, widening fiscal imbalances, and currency pressures.

He attributed the prolonged forex crisis to factors such as lack of transparency, unclear policy direction, ineffective price discovery measures, capital controls, and high speculation/arbitrage activities.

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