The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has been urged by his transition committee to end any intending fuel subsidy program and privatize Nigeria’s four refineries.
Speaking to Reuters, a senior source in the APC, who pleaded anonymity on Sunday, said “The removal of the fuel subsidy is one of the recommendations of the transition committee.”
“The committee also suggested to Mr President that the four refineries be privatized so that the government stops wasting money on annual turnaround maintenance,” he concluded.
Another APC source also told Reuters that these recommendations were contained in the report given to Buhari earlier this month.
If we recall, Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, had cut subsidy by 90 percent in the 2015 budget because government revenues have been hit by the slump in oil prices.
Nigeria attempted to end subsidy three years ago, doubling the price of a litre of petrol overnight, in efforts to cut government spending. The move angered citizens who see cheap pump prices as the only benefit they derive from living in an oil-rich country, and led to eight days of nationwide strikes. The government later reinstated part of the subsidy to end the strikes.
The prospect of the subsidy removal contributed to fuel shortages in the final days of Jonathan’s administration as gasoline importers went on strike saying they were owed money from the government.
Last week, the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said its four oil refineries would resume production in July.
The ailing refinery system generally runs well below capacity, sometimes at just 20 percent, due to neglect and pipeline sabotage.
Consequently, Buhari, who is working assiduously to shut the mouth of the cabals who have been feeding fat from importation of petroleum products for decades now, has said that the proceeds from the total removing of fuel subsidy will be used for the provision of free and compulsory primary/secondary education across the country.