N250bn monthly fuel subsidy responsible for rising national debts -CSOs
By Peter Usman://
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, comprising 82 different groups, has said that the N250billion being spent on fuel subsidy every month by the federal government, is responsible for the increase in national debts.
Rising from a conference titled: “Fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria” organised simultaneously in Abuja and Lagos, the Coalition alleged that “the revenue coming into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF account are used to settle the fuel subsidy.”
It revealed that resource persons who are world class researchers extrapolated issues bordering on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry at the conference, and identified the country’s major economic challenges as that of active fuel subsidy regime.
The Coalition said participants were unanimous that Nigeria was the only country in the world that sustained fuel subsidy regime for the past 20 years adding that it was “a capitalist and elitist policy that services only the top-heavy, hence, successive governments found it difficult to implement their economic policies.”
In a communique, jointly signed by the convener, Comrade Yusuf Dan Maitama and the secretary, Comrade Badaru Ayewoh of the Coalition of Civil Society for Economic Development, it however, urged the federal government to end fuel subsidy regime from January 1, 2022 just as it called on the organised labour to be considerate and not embark on strike in the circumstance that the action is eventually taken.
It, however, stressed the need for government to “forward the budgetary provision of N5, 000 grants to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal to the two arms of the National Assembly for legislative debate before the passage of 2022 budget.”
The communique, noted that “Nigeria is a monolithic economy, as such, revenue earnings must be jealously guarded and which should be channeled into road construction, power, education, health and development of its youth.”
It stated that “the federal government and all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry should strictly enforce the provisions of Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, which came into effect after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The Coalition also advised the government, private and public sectors to embark on sensitisation of Nigerians on the need for immediate removal of fuel subsidy in order to save the nation from further financial hemorrhage.