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FG Needs To Communicate Whether Subsidy Has Returned Or Not — Obanikoro

According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, the Federal Government should be transparent and communicate whether subsidy has returned or not. 


Photo illustration of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and petrol nozzle

 

Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, says the Federal Government may be filling the widening gap between the United States’ dollar and Nigeria’s naira in the final price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.

Obanikoro, a former lawmaker who represented Lagos Central Senatorial District from 2003 to 2007, was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.

 

 

According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, the Federal Government should be transparent and communicate whether subsidy has returned or not.

President Bola Tinubu had in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023 declared an end to the petrol subsidy era, with the essential commodity jumping from around N184 to over N600, depending on the part of the country.

The new administration also collapsed the foreign exchange rate with the naira plunging to an all-time low from about $1/N700 last May to over $1/1500 at the moment.

 

 

Many stakeholders in the downstream sector, especially those involved in the marketing and distribution of petroleum products had lamented that the wobbling value of the naira against the dollar grossly affects the pump price of the product. Some of them had embarked on strikes and threatened to hike the price of the commodity.

Recently, the World Bank and the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, Robert Dickerman, claimed that the Federal Government is still paying subsidy for the product.

This week, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, challenged the Federal Government to “without any further delay, confirm or deny the serious allegation and end the opacity surrounding the importation of fuel from foreign countries”.

Asked whether subsidy had returned on petrol or not, Obanikoro said, “You talk about subsidy, Mr Falana knows the price of crude in dollars and if our money, the naira has lost so much value, and crude is dollarised, evidently, there must be a cushion somewhere and to what extent is that cushion being done, I can’t speak to that; it’s somebody who is representing the government that can address that.

“But my common sense tells me that there is a gap and because of the pain in the country, the government cannot allow that lacuna to be left unfilled, hence government may chip in some amount of money to fill in that gap.

“I do believe that that needs to be communicated, no doubt about that. That is why it is important to take the people along step by step “