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What Nigeria will gain from subsidy removal – World Bank President

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The president of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, has said that Nigeria stands to benefit from its decision to remove fuel subsidy.

The World Bank chief noted that the decision would enhance fiscal savings and help the market work better.

Malpass revealed this during the virtual 2020 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

The deregulation policy kicked off in Nigeria in the third quarter of 2020 as policy makers failed to announce a benchmark price for petroleum products.

The end-result was a rise in price of the products as market forces kicked in.

“I compliment Nigeria for tackling the problem of subsidies in the hydrocarbon area,” Malpass said at the meeting.

“By reducing those subsidies and allowing gasoline prices to rise – it is very hard for governments to do that – there are substantial benefits.

“It means that there are fiscal savings, it also means that there are environmental benefits that are large and it allows markets to work better and to allocate resources better.”

Covid-19 effect

The world bank chief noted that disruption would impact unemployment especially in poor economies.

“For Nigeria,” he said, “the vital steps are to strengthen the health system and the education system, and we try to work in those areas. Also, the governance system and transparency are vital in order to reduce corruption within the system.”

For sundry challenges after the Covid-19 pandemic, he advised that the world must devise a different way of people interacting better and place an emphasis on health care.

“We have extended the emergency health response to include vaccines and distribution of vaccines for COVID, but it also has the benefit of helping the vaccination programmes in other areas and the healthcare outreach in other areas that will be so valuable,” he said.

 

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