Port Harcourt — The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has thrown its weight behind the planned total removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
However, IPMAN said the removal of fuel subsidy should happened only after the nation’s four refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt have been fixed to operate at optimum capacity.
IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State, Dr. Joseph Obele, while speaking to newsmen in Eleme, near Port Harcourt, explained that fuel subsidy removal will end product scarcity in the country.
Obele lamented that the Federal Government was spending so much on subsidising petrol and urged the government to channel such spending on other social programmes in the country, such as healthcare and agriculture.
He also accused the government of paying lip service to the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
“In the 2023 budget, the budget provision for fuel subsidy ends by June. Probably by July, fuel subsidy will be fully removed.
“Few months to the end of fuel subsidy, fuel prices will fluctuate, but, three to four month later, it will be balanced.
“I charge Nigerians to see that we all support the removal of fuel subsidy. Last year, 2022 alone, we spent over N9 trillion on fuel subsidy, out of N16 trillion that was total budget for 2022, on one single commodity.
“We can subsidise education, agriculture and food, but, not fuel. So, we in IPMAN, we support the removal of fuel subsidy but it should be at the right time,” he stated.
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