Fuel Scarcity: ACF Backs Subsidy Removal  As Solution


*Commends Kyari-led NNPCL management for proactive measures 


Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has thrown its weight behind the clamour for removal of subsidy as the only remedy for recurring fuel scarcity across the country.

According to the Northern  political and socio-cultural organization, the best way for the National Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to  make fuel available always, is to remove subsidy  completely. 

The Secretary-General of ACF, Murtala Aliyu, who disclosed this in an interview, said, “For as long as we continue to import fuel, we have to  subsidize it and  doing so, will certainly  make government resources to continue to be limited.”

He vehemently  kicked against the idea of  borrowing money to pay for subsidy, adding that government has been shying away from the issue of subsidy and this is  where the problem resides.

He further explained, “We all know that petrol, diesel, kerosene and  gas are all utilities. Like we buy firewood, pay for water and pay for electricity, if we want to use it, we should pay for  petrol too. It will definitely put cost on transportation and other things, but that is the reality of the situation.”

While noting that If subsidy is removed, there would be enough resources to provide for  security of lives and property of the citizens,  education,  healthcare etc, he expressed strong support for open market for  marketers to do the importation and sell freely. 

“I am sure if this is done, the  rate will crash because ,products  will be  available. And certainly, issue of price hikes will be over. Let the market forces of demand and supply determine price of goods and services,” he stated.

Meanwhile, he urged the management of Engineer Mele Kyari-led Management of National Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to intensify efforts to ensure the recent fuel queues at filling stations across Nigeria disappear.

On the performance of NNPC under Mele Kyari, the ACF scribe said, “If you’re talking about the performance of the NNPCL or the oil sector generally, I think since the Buhari administration came up, we have had less problems with fuel queues until recently.

He therefore, urged  the leadership of NNPCL to redeem the good image hitherto achieved in recent  years as a  company with improved performance and ensure that the issue of  long  queues in the filling stations are addressed immediately.

Fielding questions on issue of oil discovery in the North, the ACF scribe said there is not exciting  news.

He explained,  “In the first place, the issue of discovering oil should not be a competition matter, but  something that the whole country should be happy with.

“I can tell you that if for any reason we discovered oil anywhere within the country, we should all be happy because,  it’s  additional resources that will help provide more jobs, lead to sustainable  growth and development.

“If there is oil in commercial quantities  found  inland, it should not be used for export, but processed for internal consumption.

“We can  have modular refineries all around to produce the crude oil discovered in Gombe and Bauchi states and where there is gas, we should use it for generation of energy instead of looking at it from the export dimension. If it  becomes abundant, even our neighbours can now benefit.”

While stating  that discovery of oil in the North is a positive thing, he advised, “It shouldn’t be  about export or 13 per cent derivation, but about the fact that there is enough resources for the country, for the population to enjoy.

“We in the ACF are not expressing undue excitement about oil discovery in the North.

“People  look at things politically, they think North needs to also measure up because they see you as not producing anything. If you look at the Nigerian GDP,  oil is responsible for less than 10 per cent,  which means there is something else keeping the country together like agriculture.

“Secondly, agriculture provides more employment than any other sector, which means they engage the economy more than the oil sector.

“I think not just oil, any other resources that help, could help the  masses to be more comfortable and  wealthier. I think government should embark on exploration of such resources.”


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