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Removing oil subsidies in Nigeria: between necessity and false economy.

Ezeani, Elimma C.


Elimma C. Ezeani


The rising costs of oil products on the global market and increasing dependency on fossil fuels have become a concern for both governments and international bodies. Aside from calls to governments to move towards alternatives in the form of renewable energy, the impact of government financial support to businesses in the oil sector in the form of subsides has also come under criticism. Advocates for oil subsidy removal argue that these subsidies only divert much needed investment in development projects especially in the developing economies, to rich players in the oil sector. In January 2012, the Nigerian government therefore announced its policy to remove the subsidies attached to oil products. The announcement was received with wide public protests which the government sought to calm with a 'Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment (SURE-P) programme'. This article considers the broad context of oil subsidy removal in Nigeria. It investigates the necessity behind the Nigerian government's oil subsidy removal policy and evaluates the practical economy of oil subsidy removal in this developing and mono (oil) dependent economy.


EZEANI, E.C. 2015. Removing oil subsidies in Nigeria: between necessity and false economy. Journal of world energy law and business [online], 7(4), pages 364-389. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 29, 2014
Online Publication Date May 29, 2014
Publication Date Aug 1, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 10, 2017
Journal Journal of world energy law and business
Print ISSN 1754-9957
Electronic ISSN 1754-9965
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 4
Pages 364-389
Keywords Nigeria; Government; Oil; Subsidy; Deregulation; Necessity; False economy; Welfare
Public URL


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