N800bn Subsidy Payment Not Acceptable – Governor’s Forum

The National Economic Council will soon decide whether to allow NNPC to continue paying subsidy for petroleum or not, chairman of Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulazeez Yari said on Thursday. Yari, who made this known while responding to questions after the NEC meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja, said the governors would take a decision on the subsidy in June.

All state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant ministers make up the council. He said the governors’ position was informed by the huge amount of money being spent by the NNPC as payment for fuel subsidy annually.

“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable,” the governor of Zamfara told the media.

“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 per cent of what you are spending on 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.’’

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