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State Governors have described the N800 billion fuel subsidy payment as huge, insisting that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) name the beneficiaries.
The chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, said this while fielding questions from State House reporters on Thursday after a meeting of the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Yari said the council discussed the issue of whether the states should determine how much should be paid as fuel subsidy.
The governor said the issue was referred to a sub-committee of the council which he chaired.
“Don’t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was because the oil prices were too low. It was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make its profit.
“So, when the price started jerking up, then the marketers started adjusting back because they need to have a template of cost recovery and how they are going to make up the difference from the pump price to the landing cost of what they are importing.
“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption, which is not acceptable. Working with the governors, so many decisions were taken, but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.
“For instance, if you say we paid N800 billion subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at infrastructure development and capital programme of the federal government, it is about N1.1 trillion, almost 70 percent of what you are spending developing the economy. If there is no infrastructure development, then you cannot talk about development of the economy.
“N800 billion is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it. So we are coming up with a strategy, we are going to meet in the month of May and June.
“By next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of the government at both level of volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and federal government collaborate to check,” Yari said.