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Group urges FG to remove fuel subsidy

13 January 2013, 17:13

Abuja -  Tosin Adeyanju, the Executive Director of an NGO, Conscience Nigeria, on Sunday called on the Federal Government to build coastal refineries in the country.

Adeyanju told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the refeneries, when built, would address challenges of incessant fuel scarcity.

He said the refeneries would help to maintain a uniformed pricing of petroleum products.

Adeyanju said the NGO, after monitoring the price of petrol across the country in the last six months, discovered that it was not uniform.

"Our NGO and a coalition of civil society groups conducted the survey on price of fuel across the country; we discovered  that fuel is sold at N97 per litre, mostly in Abuja and Lagos.

"Immediately you leave Abuja towards the airport road or Nyanya Maraba road, fuel is sold at 120 and above, so also in Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Enugu and other states,'' he said.

The director suggested that government should remove oil subsidy and allocate the money to critical areas of the economy that would create jobs to the unemployed youths.

He said government could have invested the over trillion naira it budgetted in 2012 for oil subsidy in improving power supply.

"Subsidy removal will save additional resources for investing in programmes targeted at mitigating poverty and spurring economic growth.

"The deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry will lead to rapid private sector investment in refineries and petrochemicals, which
will generate millions of jobs," he said.

According to Adeyanju, with deregulation, private refineries will spring up in different parts of the country much earlier than anticipated.

He said the NGO would collaborate with other civil society organisations to sensitise Nigerians to understand the need for removal of fuel subsidy.

Adeyanju urged government to implement a transparent system for redirecting and monitoring funds from the subsidy, so that Nigerians could scrutinise the expenditure.

- NAN

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