States in­sist on petrol sub­sidy re­moval

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Sun­day Michael Ogwu & Daniel Adugbo

State Fi­nance Com­mis­sion­ers who are mem­bers of the Federal Ac­count Al­lo­ca­tion Com­mit­tee (FAAC) have called for to­tal re­moval of petroleum prod­ucts sub­sidy.

They made the call un­der the aegis of Com­mis­sion­ers Fo­rum at the end of monthly FAAC meet­ing in Abuja on Tues­day night.

Chair­man of the fo­rum Mr. Ti­mothy Odaa who is the fi­nance com­mis­sioner of Ebonyi state told news­men that “we have rec­om­mended the to­tal re­moval of fuel sub­sidy be­cause the sub­sidy is a so­lu­tion worse than the prob­lem it in­tends to solve.”

He also ac­cused the or­gan­ised labour of be­ing on the pay­roll of ma­jor oil mar­keters which was it keep re­sist­ing sub­sidy re­moval by govern­ment.

The FAAC in its March meet­ing con­sti­tuted a com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate and ad­vise it on the con­tin­u­ous suit­abil­ity or other­wise of the fuel sub­sidy regime.

Re­act­ing to the likely re­sis­tance to their po­si­tion by the Or­ga­nized Labour, Odaa said: “what will they say? They are on the pay­roll of the oil mar­keters.”

“Mem­ber of the labour Unions should call and truly in­ves­ti­gate their lead­ers. They know what is hap­pen­ing and the era has passed when they can be made or co­erced into this un­work­able sys­tem,” he added.

Odaa fur­ther said the com­mit­tee is of the po­si­tion that “it is bet­ter that states are al­lowed to ac­cess their funds and then grant sub­si­dies in ac­cor­dance with their ca­pac­i­ties rather the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion where it is spirit that are mak­ing use of the sub­sidy”

Mean­while, ef­forts to get re­ac­tions from oil mar­keters on the com­mis­sion­ers’ ac­cu­sa­tions were un­suc­cess­ful yes­ter­day.

Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the Ma­jor Oil Mar­keters As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (MO­MAN), Mr Obafemi La­wore could not be reached on phone at press time as his line was un­avail­able.

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