The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has submitted that ordinary Nigerians are not benefiting from the country’s fuel subsidy regime.
The Governor while declaring total support for the federal government’s plans to end fuel subsidy by 2022, listed smugglers, neighbouring Africa countries, and some rich people as those benefitting from the current oil subsidy regime in Nigeria.
According to the Kaduna State Governor, Cameroon even had to shut down its own refinery in order to keep enjoying cheap petrol from Nigeria.
He added that petrol is not the most important fuel in Nigeria, rating kerosene which he said matters more to most Nigerians and diesel as more important to Nigerians.
El-Rufai said both kerosene and diesel have been deregulated and life has continued, hence if petrol is also deregulated, Nigerians will adjust and continue urging people to stop politicizing the matter.
He made the submissions at the launch of the World Bank Nigeria Development Update (NDU).
In his words, “The fuel that matters to Nigerian is kerosene, it has been deregulated and the world has not collapsed. The fuel that is important to industry and transporters is diesel and it has been deregulated — nothing has happened.
“So this hullabaloo about petrol is just something we must as a country have a conversation and agreed that it has to end, we can not continue to provide petroleum gasoline to our neighbouring country, which is what we are doing.”
“This month, the NNPC brought only N14 billion to the federation account. In the budget, they are meant to bring in N120 billion monthly, but they brought 14 billion with the threat that they will ask the federation account to give them a cheque to cover subsidy.”
“Who is befitting for the subsidising other than the smugglers, neighbouring Africa countries, and some rich people?”
“We should stop politicising these things that will bring Nigeria to its knees”
El-Rufai further revealed that he and other State Governors are in support of the move by the federal government to start paying N5,000 transport allowance to 40 million Nigerians for a particular period of time once fuel subsidy is removed in 2022.
He said this will cushion the immediate impact of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.
“The Nigerian Governor Forum has met and agreed to support the federal government, withdraw this subsidy by February, and use the N250 billion per month that would have been lost between February and May to do these conditional cash transfers that would put money in the pocket of Nigerians,” he said.
“To ameliorate not only cost of transportation but also the 2 to 3 percent jump in inflation that is expected when the subsidy is removed.”