Finance commissioners call for removal of fuel subsidy

Fuel-dispencer13 March 2014, Abuja – The Forum of Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states of the federation on Thursday, in Abuja, passed a resolution for the removal of fuel subsidy.

The Chairman of the forum, Mr. Timothy Odaah, told journalists shortly after this month’s Federation Account Allocation Committee’s meeting, that the resolution was passed following irregularities observed in the fuel subsidy regime.
The forum passed the resolution just as fuel scarcity that started last week persisted in the Federal Capital Territory, with many motorists queuing at filling stations.
The FAAC meeting, which was chaired by the Accountant -General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, was convened to consider and approve statutory allocations for February.
Odaah, who is also the Commissioner of Finance representing Ebonyi State at FAAC, said the resolution would be sent to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum for transmission to President Goodluck Jonathan.
He described the payment of fuel subsidy as a scam against some states, especially the less industrialised ones as it had made “the rich to become richer while the poor are become poorer.”
He argued that if Nigerians had not protested against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012, most states would have experienced significant level of development.
The Federal Government has a budget of N971.1bn for fuel subsidy payment for the 2014 fiscal year, same as in 2013.
Odaah, said, “We looked at subsidy on oil as more or less a solution worse than the problem it is meant to solve.“Looking at it presently, you will discover that it is not solving the problem which it is meant to solve. In the first place, the NLC (Nigeria Labour Congress) and the majority of the Nigerian populace appear to have been deceived into clamouring for subsidy.

“Projects and programmes that were put in especially with regard to easing transportation problem and likewise tariffs on power supply but you will discover that it’s an average poor man that suffers.
“It’s a system that robs Peter to pay Paul by making the rich to grow richer and the poor the poor to go poorer. “There are some states that are fully industrialized and you use this subsidy in that particular place and the people who benefit more are those from the states that are industrialized.

“The fuel consumption of those industries uses more of the fuel subsidy unlike the states that are under -industrialized. So, what we are advocating is that the subsidy be removed so that every state or any member of the federating unit sharing from FAAC will take his own money, then decide to use it or grant subsidy in a level that it will be able to afford.”


– The Punch

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