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Nigerians call for complete removal of oil subsidy

30 January 2015, 16:10

Abuja - Accounting experts on Thursday in Abuja called for the total removal of the oil subsidy, to free up funds for capital development.

They made the call at the three-day National Treasury Workshop, organised by the Office of the Accountant-General for the Federation.

The Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Taiwo Ladipo, said that this had become necessary with the reduction of oil revenue, insecurity, weakening of naira and decline in foreign reserves.

Ladipo said there was need for state and federal governments to restrategise while taking into account the current monetary challenges in the country.

"There is need to merge MDAs with over lapping functions in order to cut cost. BPP should be encouraged to compile a list of pricing that all MDAs must adhere to.

"Importation of goods that can be produced locally should be discouraged. Also Federal Government should eliminate waivers given to certain corporations on importation.

"Tax administration in the country needs to be improved and leakages of revenue generated should be curbed," he said.

Similarly, the Director of Finance and Account, Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Abiola Ayoola, called for the reduction of recurrent expenditure in the country.

He said that about 80 per cent of government revenue was spent on recurrent rather than capital expenditure.

"There must be a reduction in foreign travel and hiring of private jets by public officials.

"Government must reduce funding of ECOWAS and AU issues. We must also reduce borrowing of funds with high interest rates whether locally or internationally.

" Private Public Partnership should be encouraged. This will enable government to make more investments in health, education, transport, power and security sector," he said.

Ayoola also encouraged government to develop the tourism and hospitality sector which had the potential to create a lot of formal and informal jobs and add to the country's revenue base.

Also, the Director of Funds, Office of the Accountant-General for the Federation, Mohammed Dikwa, said for effective management, leakages of public funds must be stopped.

Also read: Oil subsidy fraud trial resumed today

He stressed the importance of the acceptance of the electronic scheme of the Federal Government to pay salaries, contractors and other recurrent expenditures in government organisations.

"The GIFMIS, IPPIS, and TSA programmes, being sponsored by the office of the AGF, must be implemented as soon as possible in all MDAs.

"Once this is done, corruption and leakages of public funds will be reduced," he said

Dikwa also said that incentives for hard work should be introduced to all revenue generating agencies in the country.

He said that the success of Customs and FIRS in generating non-oil revenue could be due to the 7 per cent and 5 per cent given to them from whatever they generated.

Dikwa also urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2010 whose main purpose was to ensure that all revenue generating agencies did not shortchange the government.


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