The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), has called for an immediate removal of fuel subsidy, in the interest of the nation’s economy.
This was conveyed on Wednesday, at a virtual meeting. A committee set up by NGF, considered the petrol price to be fixed between ₦380 to ₦408.5 per litre.
Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai, who doubles as the chairman of the committee, while presenting the report of the NGF, committee on subsidy placed on petrol, stressed that the current subsidy regime was not sustainable; due to smugglers and illegal markets in the neighboring African countries.
However, the committee came to a conclusion that the subsidy should be immediately removed to “salvage the economy of the nation”.
He further explained that Nigeria, like other organizations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties Members (OPEC), agreed to cut production to keep the prices high, but that Nigeria could not fully benefit from the regime because of subsidies.
El Rufai said, “between ₦70bn and ₦210bn is estimated to be spent every month to keep gasoline price at ₦162 per litre, that is below the cost price and the remittance to the federation account will shrink to less than ₦50bn per month or even zero, if threats persist.
” Why are keeping the price at 162?” he queried. “We are keeping the price between the federal government, and trade unions net and agreed to suspension or some industrial actions months back.
“Even though we all supported deregulation of Petroleum products prices last year, this agreement was suspended by the federal government because of a threat of industrial activities by unions. This is the root of the problem and now, we are back to losing between ₦70bn to ₦210bn per month.”
While presenting the recommendation to the committee about the price of petrol, the chairman went further to explain that about twelve (12) States consumed two-thirds of the petrol which was heavily subsidized.
The committee considered ₦408.5 litre as the appropriate price in the circumstance; but with concessions to Labour unions, ₦380 per litre could be the minimum.
Governor of Ogun State, who contributed to the debate, said the 93 million litres which the NNPC claimed was consumed in Nigeria daily was “unacceptable”.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News | May 20, 2021