Menu Close

Ohuabunwa to Buhari: Subsidy removal by June 2023 deceitful, causes fuel price instability

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

*Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, a frontline boardroom technocrat and former presidential aspirant, declares it is deceitful for Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to announce stoppage of petrol subsidy with effect from June this year

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, a frontline boardroom technocrat and ex-presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party has criticised Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on his inability to establish and enforce a steady price control in the oil and gas sector of the country.

ConsumerConnect reports the former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Sunday, January 8, 2023, also alleged the Federal Government is paying lip service to the issues around the oil sector of the economy.

“It is deceitful and disingenious for this Government to announce that payment of subsidy will end in June when they would have ended their regime,” Ohuabunwa said.

On the government’s renewed effort at ending payments of the controversial fuel subsidy, Ohuabunwa in the statement, also “Why to wait? Why to make a such deceitful proposition?

“Who will enforce the plan, Buhari/Oil Minister or the new President?”

Instability in fuel prices in Nigeria

He further stated: “Directly or indirectly, officially or unofficially, it is clear that the cap on the pump price of petrol (PMS) has been removed.

“All over Nigeria, for a few months now, the price of petrol has varied from one filling station to the other.”

The expert also noted: “As of 6th of January (2023), prices ranged from a minimum of N240 per liter in Benin, N340 in Kaduna, N360 in Umuahia, N400 per liter in Owerri to N500 per liter in Port Harcourt. “No filling station is selling at the so called controlled price, except in some filling stations in Abuja and Lagos.

“And nobody is enforcing any price as it used to happen in the past.

So, it is clear we have deregulated. That’s fine!”

‘Deceit and hanky-panky game’ with consumers’ well-being?

Ohuabunwa said: “I think the Government should own up and announce this policy officially.

“I urge the government to come clean and level up with the citizens instead of this deceit and hanky-panky game with our commonwealth and citizen wellbeing.”

The former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc said: “By announcing the deregulation now, which is already a fiat accompli, Nigerians will attain the following benefits:

“First, an official deregulation will mean, that many more companies and oil marketers can import fuel under the supervision of the regulatory agency, thus immediately easing the scarcity and ending the double jeopardy of many motorists and road users.

“For months now, many motorists spend hours and in some cases, days and nights trying to buy the product at inflated prices.”

He stated: “They lose many productive hours searching for petrol and when they find it, they pay exorbitant prices.

“Those who buy from hawkers run the risk of buying adulterated fuel which destroys car engines, in addition to the indignity of buying petrol from hawkers.

“This is not to talk of the misery of those who travelled in commercial vehicles this season.”

Effects of official deregulation of downstream sector

Ohuabunwa noted that many were stranded at motor parks as they found that their budget could not meet the daily changing fares!

“Secondly and most importantly, official deregulation now will obviate the need for more subsidy payments and at least, we can save the N3.5 trillion budgeted for the first six months of this year by this outgoing government.

“N3.5 trillion can do so much for our infrastructure, especially when it is noted that only N5.9Trillion is the entire Capital budget in an N22Trillion Budget for 2023.

“It can build several roads and bridges across the country or transform our entire educational and healthcare system,” the statement said.

He further said: “Thirdly, it will disabuse the minds of some Nigerians who speculate that this N3.5 trillion has been put in the budget for other purposes including election funding and send-forth and parting gifts for the government officials and politicians of the party in power.

“This set of Nigerians can see that government has ‘surreptitiously’ deregulated while still retaining subsidy payments.

“And they ask for what purpose? Hence the speculation.’

Announce deregulation now, says Ohuabunwa

The expert stated: “To deny this speculation and save a whopping N3.5 trillion, I urge this government to formally announce the deregulation now, or if they are ‘afraid’ to do for whatever reason, then they should open up the market ‘surreptitiously’ as well so that supply can expand and allow market forces to fix price.

“To allow only NNPC to be importing while removing the price cap after paying subsidy is profoundly confounding.

“The current situation is deeply damaging the Nigerian economy, increasing poverty and misery for many Nigerians while creating a lot of opportunities for arbitrage and corruption for NNPC and government officials.”

He added: “President Buhari should bite this bullet and save Nigerians from multiple jeopardies, which they are facing right now.

“It is true that we have lost the battle against corruption, but we must not watch helplessly as poor Nigerians are openly ‘raped’ and ravaged by the ‘oil curse’.”

Kindly Share This Story





Kindly share this story