Group raises concerns over N3t subsidy, rehabilitation of refineries
The Civil Society Group for Good Governance (CSGGG), yesterday, in Abuja, raised concerns over the payment of N3t subsidy on petrol, as well as the sorry state of the nation’s refineries.
Contrary to expectations that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would automatically commence the deregulation of the downstream sector, especially the removal of subsidy, the Federal Government, has insisted that subsidy would continue on petrol.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited recently presented a N3t bill for the settlement of petrol subsidy in 2022.
Stakeholders at the CAGGG at a press conference noted that the country’s fuel subsidy burden was already too cumbersome for the country to carry.
The President, CSGGG Ogakwu Dominic, described the budget for subsidy as humungous, stressing that, “it is also important that the Federal Government ensures that the right policies are in place, while also improving the country’s domestic refining capacity to meet local demand before subsidy removal is finally implemented.
“Let none of us be told otherwise that there is no subsidy. If there was none, the organised labour would not be threatening fire and brimstone whenever the government takes any bold step towards removing under-recovery of premium motor spirit,” Dominic said.
He decried the fact that the nation’s borders, which have remained porous, have continued to add to the country’s existing security challenges.
Dominic, who said that it was still unbelievable that the country is consuming over 65 million litres of petrol every day explained that only the existence of subsidy can explain this.
“Nigeria has one of the cheapest fuel per litre in the entire West African sub-region. Our cheaper fuel is very attractive to smugglers and something drastic needs to be done to address this ugly trend and hopefully crash the PMS consumed daily, hence a cost reduction of subsidy claims.
“We want to use this forum, to call on the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other relevant security agencies to pay special attention to our land borders to mitigate the smuggling of Nigeria’s petroleum products to neighbouring countries,” he said.