*advocates immediate stoppage
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A Financial expert and the Executive Director Finance and Chief Financial Officer of OES Energy Services, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke on Sunday disclosed that the continuous payment of subsidy on Petroleum by the Federal Government is a waste and should be stopped by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
Chief Adegoke who said this in Ibadan while speaking with newsmen on the state of the nation emphasized that there should be no basis for the Federal government to continue with the payment of subsidy on petrol if Nigeria is to move forward.
“The basic thing that the federal government can do which I don’t think if Buhari government can do it is to remove subsidy, because it is a waste. Subsidy is a waste. You said you are helping the poor, which poor are you helping, how many poor are you helping, how many poor owns a car”, he said.
The Financial Expert added, “Okay, I own four or five cars, that means the federal government is subsidizing me to buy fuel into my cars. The poor that you are talking about enters public buses, what the federal government can use that money to do is to remove subsidy and invest the money in made transportation, mass transit. And when I say mass transportation, I does not mean buying buses but build mono rail. “.
He pointed out that thr billions of naira spent on petroleum subsidy on yearly basis in the country by the Federal Government had no positive impact on the masses but rather meant to enrich the rich few.
Speaking further, Chief Adegoke urged that if the subsidy on petroleum is finally removed, the government should be sincere in ensuring judicious use of the funds initially set aside as the subsidy on petroleum by using it to develop mass transportation, agriculture, built schools, hospitals that will be accessible to the masses which according to him stands as the only way for the masses to benefit from the removal of fuel subsidy.
The Financial Expert maintained “the only problem that I see is that, any country that is spending more on recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure will not grow. That is the basic fact because capital expenditure is the one that will help you to develop and generate future income and revenue. If roads are bad and you spend ten hours you lost nine hours, that will affect productivity. Productivity will low.
“We are supposed to be producing but we you could not get to where you are going on time. Our problem in this country is that we spend more on recurrent than capital. So, that subsidy is enough to build mono rail. Mass transit, don’t buy buses to increase the number of buses on the roads that are already congested, build mono rail. So, if they remove subsidy and the government is sincere with it and use it to build mass transit, have a target instead of some people to pocket the money, billions of naira. You build the mono rail and get the private sector to buy the coaches.”
He added, “that is why I don’t support subsidy provided that they can spend it judiciously on infrastructural development. Power, if there is an improvement in power, it will reduce unemployment rate. Welder needs light, that is why all of them are riding motorcycles. If there is light, I can tell you that if you want to establish laundering and dry cleaning services, you will be thinking of how much will I use to buy generators. What KVA generator do I need to buy. Everybody needs power. What business do you want to do that you will not need electricity. ” Commenting on the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Financial Expert said there “is a lot to be done”.
“Look at the allocation to the National Assembly, it is recurrent, allocation to the Aso Rock is recurrent, but the one to hospitals, Roads, water resources, agriculture, is low compared to allocations and look at the allocations to national assembly and Aso Rock.
He lamented that it was unfortunate that many Nigerians focused more on the Federal Government without little or no attention to their respective state budget which ought to be their primary concern considering the closeness of the state government to the people not to talk of that of Local governments, saying, “how many local government are announcing their budget. We focus more on federal budget. Federal is just to support.”