Fuel Subsidy Bill Growing Faster Than Nigeria's Economy, Group Raises Alarm
- The Nigerian government has been urged to work towards improving the availability of petroleum products to citizens and motorists alike
- This call was made by a civil society organisation during a press conference on the issues in the oil and gas sector especially fuel subsidy removal
- According to the group, the federal government must prioritise the rehabilitation of all refineries in the country before fuel subsidy removal is implemented
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The Civil Society Group for Good Governance (CSGGG) has warned that Nigeria's fuel subsidy is growing faster than what the nation's economy can carry.
The group said considering the huge amount of money - N3 trillion - expected to be spent on fuel subsidy in 2022, it is important for the Nigerian government to speed up the rehabilitation of refineries across the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, February 5, the president of CSGGG, Ogakwu Dominic, said reviving the country's refineries would improve the availability of products locally and reduce importation.
Also urging the federal government to ensure that the right policies are laid down to improve Nigeria's domestic refining capacity, Dominic said local demand must be met before the removal of subsidy is implemented.
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Addressing border porosity to curb smuggling
Dominic also said that the federal government needs to address the issue of border porosity with the rate at which some unpatriotic elements are cashing on this gap to divert and smuggle Nigeria's subsidy-coated fuel to neighbouring countries.
"This ugly trade is putting an unnecessary burden on the government’s scarce resources. It is still unbelievable that we are consuming over 65 million litres of petrol every day.
"Only the existence of subsidy can explain this. Nigeria has one of the cheapest fuel per litre in the entire West African sub-region."
Noting that petrol is attractive to smugglers due to its cheap price, Dominic said drastic measures must be taken to curb the ugly trend and hence bring a cost reduction of subsidy claims.
"We want to use this forum, to call on the Nigerian Customs Service and other relevant security agencies to pay special attention to our land borders in order to mitigate the smuggling of Nigeria's petroleum products to neighbouring countries."
Kyari says the subsidy regime will be over by 2022
Legit.ng had earlier quoted Kyari saying Nigeria should be out of the subsidy regime by the end of February 2022.
The NNPC boss said there will be no provision for subsidy legally, adding that it is now backed by law.
He, however, stated that the Nigerian government has a bigger social responsibility to cater to the ordinary and will ensure that the subsidy regime is exited in the most subtle and easy manner.
Petroleum minister reveals Buhari's position on the removal of petrol subsidy
Also, the minister of state for petroleum, Sylva, reacted to reports of President Buhari's plan to remove the subsidy on petrol.
Sylva revealed that Buhari is not in support of the removal of subsidy on petrol at this time.
According to him, the complete removal of subsidy is not on the federal government's plate, saying they plan to complete consultations before coming out with a clear policy direction on the matter.