Nigeria’s opposition leader reiterates that fuel subsidy is organised crime as National Assembly say N11T was wasted repairing refineries
Peter Obi, Nigeria’s opposition leader on Tuesday, steam rolled the Tinubu administration methodology for removing the fuel subsidy, without implementing palliatives, while restating that the fuel subsidy regime was organised crime.
Obi made this known to journalists while attending the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) in the Nigerian capital Abuja, where he is contesting the results of the February 25 presidential elections.
His comments came following Tinubu administration insinuation that the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate was in support of subsidy removal.
“I’ve actually been in support of the removal of subsidies right from the President Goodluck Jonathan era, when I was a member of the Economic Management team.” Obi said, adding. “If you have followed me very well right from the time I was a member of Jonathan’s economic management team, I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as organised crime.”
Obi said he has statistics to back up his claim that Nigerians were not consuming the amount of fuel the government says Nigerians consume.
“If you read my manifesto you will see clearly how I planned to remove subsidies. I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are going to save, and what we are going to do using the savings to better the suffering masses.
The problem in Nigeria is that often government tell the masses to suffer and sacrifice, for a better future; but in future things gets worse.”
Also on Tuesday the House of Representatives ad hoc committee in a plenary session on the state of refineries in Nigeria, says after spending N11.349 trillion to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries, it discovered duplication of projects and double payments.
It revealed that between 2010 and 2020 the three national refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna were non-functional, unproductive and wasteful, adding that it could not ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitating the Nigerian refineries within the periods.
The committee noted that the total estimated cost of rehabilitating the Nigerian refineries might be put at ₦11,349,583,186,313.40. It also revealed that other additional actual costs reported in foreign currencies amounted to $592,976,050.00 and £4,877,068.47, and £3,455,656.93. Obvious omissions were noted in the submissions made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and that there were seeming duplications of projects and possible double payments according to the report.
In its recommendation, the committee said the new Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) should take full advantage of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, passed by the National Assembly, to fast-track the rehabilitation programme of the refineries.
Akowe with reports from Abuja