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Petrol Subsidy Removal: Group Tells Senate President to be Firm

The Integrity Youth Alliance, a Civil Society Organisation has said that the Senate leadership should be decisive on the proposed removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called Petrol.
It said that footdragging on the subsidy removal was akin to postponing the obvious when the nation’s oil corporation had become true business conglomerate expected to make returns to shareholders.
Mr Adewole Kehinde, the Board Chairman of the Group, in a statement on Wednesday said that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) had already made fuel subsidy payment an issue of Law.
Recalls that the Senate President on Tuesday while speaking to newsmen had assured Nigerians that petroleum subsidy would not be removed for now.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has not authorised anybody to remove fuel subsidy as speculated in social and conventional media outfits.
The board chairman, however, noted that  the Petroleum Industry Act did not make provision for subsidy payment as it provided that by the end of July 2022, the nation should be out of the subsidy regime.
“For the purpose of clarification, the Act establishes incorporated joint companies under Section 65 of the Act.
“The NNPC Limited is to conduct its affairs on a commercial basis in a profitable manner without recourse to government funds and their Memorandum and Articles of Association shall state these restrictions.
“The NNPC is also required to declare dividends to its shareholders and retain 20 per cent of profit as retained earnings to grow its business like any other incorporated entity incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, as provided under Section 53(7) of the  Act.
“The downstream deregulation through the Act will bring about liberalisation of the sector, which would make it possible for all petroleum products marketers to source their products from anywhere and sell at any price dictated by prevailing market forces.
“The competition arising from that would have helped to force pump prices down to the benefit of the citizens,” Kehinde said.
He noted that Petrol subsidy removal would free revenues for the government to provide essential services and at the same time boost investments in the downstream sector.
According to him,  the benefits of fuel subsidy removal are huge.
He said with removal, operators would have the opportunity to recover their costs, and in the long run, investments would receive massive boost and more jobs would be created.
Kehinde added that resisting deregulation under the guise of fighting for the welfare of Nigerians was only an attempt to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that they could eat their cake and still have it.
“Therefore, rather than subscribing to this deceptively populist course of action, the leadership of the National Assembly should toe the path of genuine patriotism with which it has long been associated by embracing, promoting and supporting new progressive reform embedded in the PIA.
“That is the surest way of eliminating the rot that has clogged the road to development in our petroleum sector,” he noted.(NAN)


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