Nigeria spends N4.5tr on fuel subsidy in seven years
Facts have emerged that the Federal Government has spent about N4.5 trillion in the last seven years as subsidy on petroleum products imported into the country.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this in a statement recently, noted the huge amount is good enough to repair the faulty refineries and build new ones.
Zainab emphasised that it was time for the Federal Government to remove oil subsidy, adding that the financial commitment to subsidy has grossly impacted on national purse.
She stated that from the last NEITI Audit Report of 2012, a total of N1,355 trillion was processed for payment as subsidy. Out of this amount, N690 billion was actually paid, putting a debt burden of N665 billion on the Federal Government.
Ahmed added: “From our reports, the amount of money that Nigeria has paid so far on subsidy in the last seven years stand at N4.5 trillion. The breakdown shows that N816,554 billion was paid between 2006 to 2008, N3 trillion between 2009 to 2011 and N690 billion in 2012. We in NEITI believe that this amount is more than enough to repair our refineries or build new ones. NEITI therefore stands firmly with Nigerians who share the fair position that the oil subsidy should be removed”.
Meanwhile, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Chair, Clare Short, who led a delegation of other implementing countries on the working visit to Nigeria recently, said the time for Nigeria to deepen the process of implementation of NEITI reports as basis for the proposed reforms in the industry appears to has finally come.
“EITI has faith in the new administration in Nigeria. We are ready to work with the new government to reform the oil sector and NEITI independent reports in the sector will help to lead the way” he said.
Short commended NEITI for its courage to put in the public domain reliable information and data on the process and financial lapses that needed to be addressed if Nigerians were to benefit from the abundant resources in the country.
The NEITI Chairman, Ledum Mitee, called on the International Secretariat of the EITI to provide creative guidance for member countries in the developing world on the implementation of new EITI standards on beneficial ownership and contract transparency.
Mitee explained that the guideline on public disclosure of beneficial ownership and contract transparency as presently outlined requires strategic approach if implementation would sustain the confidence of covered entities especially the companies.