A few people are simply stealing in the name of fuel subsidy —Oshiomhole
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has intimated at its resolve towards the removal of fuel subsidies in order to stabilise the fiscal policies of the country.
This was disclosed by Adams Oshiomhole, the Deputy Director-General (Operations) of the council, on Wednesday, during an interview on AriseTV.
According to Oshiomhole, who is also a former National Chairman of the party, stakeholders should be talking about opportunity costs since the continued payment of fuel subsidies is tantamount to enriching some fraudulent persons.
He tagged the payment of N6 trillion in subsidy payments as “stealing” while revealing that the average Nigerian is just scared of the consequences of removal, not the removal in itself.
“Regarding subsidy removal, we should be talking about the opportunity cost. When I was the NLC President, we fought against its removal for good reasons and it stood at N20bn to N30bn during OBJ’s tenure.
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“Right now, it stands at N6 trillion which is why I asked myself, who is consuming such amount? This is about fraud and dealing with opportunity cost. We are simply dealing with stealing in the name of subsidy.
“As the government, there must be the courage to admit the limitations of state institutions and it is not that people don’t support subsidy removal but the consequences of its removal.
“The real devil in the chain is the exchange rate and we need to take a holistic look at the situation, regarding monetary and fiscal policies,” Oshiomhole explained.
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in August, said the government was planning to spend N3.35 trillion on subsidy in 2023, which will last till June of that year.
The minister said the federal government is spending N18.6 billion daily on PMS, and that it spent N6.2 trillion on subsidy between 2013 to 2021.
A whopping N3.35 trillion, she said, would be spent in the first six months of next year.
“There is a need to have this as a national discussion. If we all as a nation agree that this PMS subsidy should go, then we all agree that it should go. It is not the president alone that is deciding, it is not the ministry of finance that is suggesting. I hope this is done very soon, that we take that decision,” she said.
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