The Federal Government under the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has finally removed subsidy from sale of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol,
NNPC sources said that marketers are however free to bring in cargoes and sell, subject to meeting standard quality control. He also added that a benchmark of N145 per litre is the recommended pump price. Any trader, irrespective of the source of foreign exchange used to import cargo is guaranteed adequate profit.
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET), on Wednesday, commended the Federal Government for the removal of subsidy from the sale of petrol.
The Executive Secretary of CESJET, Comrade Ikpa Isaac, while in Abuja released a statement saying that the act of removing subsidy from PMS is a gift to Nigerians, noting that the removal will put a lasting end to the incessant fuel crisis which have put the nation and innocent citizens at the mercy of a certain cabal.
The statement read: “Different revelations have emerged of massive fraud in the fuel subsidy process; trillions of naira are alleged to have been fraudulently stolen from the government purse in the name of fuel subsidy payments. It is heart rending to discover that the country is being bled on the side despite its already anaemic financial status”.
Comrade Ikpa said the deregulation of the downstream sector will open up the sector to private investors who hitherto developed cold feet to investing in the sector due to heavy government interference.
He added, the removal of subsidy will not only break the cabal but also encourage those who have had refining licenses approved several years ago to go ahead to build the refineries.
On the benefits of subsidy removal, Ikpa explained that “this will tackle the incessant scarcity of petrol due to importation and also the spring up of petrochemical industries alongside local refining to create jobs.
Highlighting the economic benefits of the subsidy removal, the group said the move will save the economy the unnecessary pressure put on the Naira due to the heavy demand for Forex to fund the importation of petroleum products.
“With this removal of subsidy, we will be exporting refined petroleum products thereby earning foreign currencies to shore up our reserves,” the Executive Secretary said.
He however likened the subsidy removal to the telecom revolution which according to him had freed the sector of unwarranted setbacks. “It is time we do the next big thing after the great telecoms revolution that came with the liberalization of the sector in the early 2000s. We predict that the boom economy experienced with the deregulation of the downstream oil sector will make the telecoms experience a child’s play”, the CESJET said.
Meanwhile CESJET frowned at the continuous spending of over 1 trillion Naira on subsidies and called on the government to remain resolute in its decision to remove subsidy. “Nigeria in the last five years has consistently spent over 1 trillion naira that is about $5b USD annually on petrol subsidies, same country that spent less than 20 billion naira on roads in the year 2015, but spent over 1 trillion naira on petrol subsidies in same year. This is unacceptable.
It is on this backdrop that we proudly demand that no group or persons should distract the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration from saving this nation from this canker worm called fuel subsidy”.
PMS subsidy was first removed in 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, however the sudden removal on 1st of January 2012 created chaos around the nation.