Oil-rich Nigeria ends petrol subsidies

2012-01-01 22:00

Abuja - Nigeria's government says it is ending petrol subsidies, a move that is sure to be unpopular in an oil-rich nation where citizens have come to expect cheap petrol as one of their few government benefits.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency announced on Sunday that it would stop paying the subsidy to petroleum importers, effective immediately.

The agency assured customers prices would be competitive.

The move could see petrol prices increase from the current level of about US45c per litre.

The government estimated it could save $8bn by phasing out subsidies, and planned to use that money to help the poor.

Nigeria is a top producer of crude, but virtually all of its petroleum products are imported after years of graft, mismanagement and violence at its refineries.