Subsidy corruption forced Buhari to permit deregulation, NNPC boss says

Subsidy corruption forced Buhari to permit deregulation, NNPC boss says

- The leadership of the NNPC has given a revelation as to why the federal government permitted full deregulation of the oil and gas sector

- Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC's boss said President Buhari was hard to convince before oil marketers were given the power to fix prices of petrol

- Kyari maintained that fuel subsidy has been used by the elite in Nigeria to enrich themselves

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Malam Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has explained the federal government's deregulation of the oil and gas sector is in the interest of the poor.

Kyari also stated that all along, the well-to-do in the country and the highly-placed have been benefiting from the subsidy to the detriment of less-privileged Nigerians.

Subsidy corruption forced Buhari to permit deregulation, NNPC boss
President Muhammadu Buhari and Mele Kyari (Photo credit:
Source: Depositphotos

He stated: “Petroleum subsidy has been a big issue for over 20 years. Every corruption you are aware of in the downstream sector of the industry is in one way or the other connected to fuel subsidy.

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“Several licences were given to people to build refineries across the country and none could deliver, maybe only just a few. The reason is very simple because people are not sure when you produce petroleum product what price they are going to sell."

He pointed out that subsidy has always being a medium through which the elite enrich themselves, especially in past administrations.

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Moreover, the NNPC boss revealed that it took a lot of effort at convincing President Muhammadu Buhari to approve full deregulation because he was considering the high prices fellow citizens will pay as marketers take over the responsibility of price fixing.

Kyari noted that “until very recently, the president was not convinced that we should make this move.

“It’s clear we can’t afford it anymore. Ordinary people deserve more infrastructures. We need to free up resources."

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Meanwhile, reported that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had berated the government for arguing that the petrol price in the country was the cheapest all over Africa.

The NLC chairman, Ayuba Wabba, speaking on Tuesday, September 8, called out Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, who made the argument.

Wabba noted that Mohammed's opposition is baseless considering the fact that the minimum wage is just N33,000 with the constant devaluation of the naira compared to the increased value of other African currencies.

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