Nigeria’s lower House doubts need for extra subsidy funds

14 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Thursday suspended debate on President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for approval for a supplementary budget of N161.6 billion for fuel subsidy for the rest of the year.

The House members were obviously not convinced on the need for the request with only two weeks left in the year.

But, the president’s request got easy approval at Senate, Thursday.

This year, N888.1 billion was approved for payment of fuel subsidy.

The President wrote to the National Assembly on Tuesday, requesting the cash for used to settle accumulated fuel subsidy arrears. It will also assist to “maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially to the run-up to the festive season,” the president wrote in the letter conveying the request to the two chambers of the National Assembly.

House members deliberating on the request at plenary, Thursday, maintained that the forensic audit of the subsidy regime be presented before the House for scrutiny.

The Chairmen of House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Dakuku Peterside, Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Ajibola Muraina, and Appropriation, John Enoh all agreed that the House may be stampeded into a hasty decision, if the consideration is done at plenary. They suggested that it should be treated at committee level.

The lawmakers said the late presentation of the request was an attempt by the President to blackmail them into passing the proposed supplementary budget.

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  • The lawmakers must look beyond grandstanding and creating unnecessary tension in the polity. Fuel subsidy is a fraud that mustn’t be encouraged anymore. Recent events has shown beyond any doubt whatsoever that fuel subsidy has become a tool for dispensing political patronage at the expense of Nigerians. We must encourage the government to discontinue the subsidy immediately and apply same funds to development of infrastructure. No nation can be so ignorant and yet, expect to be free of its consequences.

  • Could this be our attitude of doing the right at the wrong time or is it trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

  • this is not the problem in nageria is about the scurity

  • Do they doubt the need for extra funds for themselves?… Ignorant basterds!