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Northern groups back Tinubu’s subsidy removal

Written by on June 7, 2023

The House of Representatives is calling for a forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to determine its assets and liabilities as well as its current market value.

According to the House, the audit has become necessary due to the change of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into a limited liability company.

The House’s Ad Hoc committee on NNPCL’s assets and liabilities in its report which was presented to the legislature yesterday, claims that its findings show that assets worth N28 trillion was unveiled by former President Muhammedu Buhari.

It notes however, that during the transfer, only N26 trillion at the official rate of N450 to $1 was transferred, leaving a balance of N2 trillion unaccounted for.

The committee presented its report a week after the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said the Federal Government still owed the company N2.8tn that it had spent on petrol subsidy.

Correspondingly, the Coalition of Northern Group, in Kaduna has thrown its weight on the fuel subsidy removal as announced by President Bola Tinubu on May 29.

The CNG, a coalition of 150 Civil Society Organisations in the North, also hit out at former President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly pursuing unpopular deregulation programmes.

The coalition maintains that the $15.6 billion spent annually on subsidies could build a railway from Lagos to Kano, Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri, and Lagos to Calabar combined.

Spokesperson of the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Sulieman in a Communique after a One-Day Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna, insists that the N2.91 trillion spent by the Federal Government on petrol subsidy between January and September 2022 was largely responsible for the country’s dwindling public finances.

According to the communique, available data has exposed the unforgivable level of disabling corruption perpetrated with the subsidy regime in favour of a few individuals at the expense of public projects that cost less than Nigeria’s $15.6bn annual subsidy.

To the Red Chamber this time, the Senate has rejected the controversial National Water Resources Bill, 2023 after it was listed for concurrence on the order paper for consideration and passage.

Recall that former President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2017 presented the controversial bill to both chambers of the National Assembly, which seeks to transfer the control of water resources from the states to the Federal Government.

The bill sought to establish the National Council on Water Resources, Nigeria Water Resources Regulatory Commission, River Basin Development Authorities, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, and the National Water Resources Institute.

The rejection of the bill by the Senate put an end to the controversy generated by the bill among governors and federal lawmakers majorly from the southern part of the country.

A can of warms may have just been opened in the country. This time round, it is in the aviation ministry.

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