NEC Has Not Made Decision On Fuel Subsidy Removal – Obaseki.
The National Economic Council (NEC) is currently debating the ad-hoc committee’s recommendations on gasoline subsidy elimination, according to Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The governor further stated that recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari may have been made.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting of the council.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Obaseki stated that petroleum is sold at a reasonable price in comparison to neighboring nations, and that the money spent on subsidies might be used to address other pressing needs such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
According to him, the council questioned if they should permit this to continue because just two-thirds of the federation’s states get the subsidy.
“As you all know and aware, the issue of subsidy has been one matter that NEC has deliberated on, for more than a year now,” Obaseki said.
“There was an ad-hoc committee, which was set up by NEC headed by Governor El-Rufai that included members of the executive arm of government that worked on recommendations as to what we should do about the costs of PMS locally because as you realise, as has been told us, the cost of PMS in Nigeria today is about N162 per litre.
“Whereas every other country surrounding Nigeria is selling the same product at more than 100% of the cost in Nigeria.
“As for NEC, the arguments remain. Should we continue this regime of spending money we do not have to subsidise the living standards of only mostly those who have vehicles? And when NEC looked at some of the analyses last year, we then realised that less than one-third of the states of this country consume two-thirds of the subsidy.
“The issue of equity also came up. All of these findings were presented to NEC, and NEC has had several deliberations. And the deliberations are still ongoing. So, no, NEC has not come up with any decision yet. I think recommendations have also been made to the President. That is what I am aware has transpired so far.”
Obaseki went on to discuss how the subsidy reductions have impacted states and how they are coping.
“Well, I’ll put it very succinctly. As at last year, NNPC was supposed to contribute N200 billion a month to FAAC for distribution to the states,” he added.
“But because of the payment of subsidy, NNPC was unable to put that money into FAAC for distribution, which means less money going to the States and less money going to the federal government.”