Ezekwesili Seeks End To Fuel Subsidy Regime
The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has said that there is a need for a ‘pressing’ reform in the oil sector.
In a statement on Saturday, the presidential candidate demanded for an immediate end to oil subsidy in Nigeria, saying, “It gives little or no benefit.”
Ezekwesili explained that ending the oil subsidy and reforming the oil sector were parts of her plans if she emerged as the president of Nigeria.
She said, “End Fuel Subsidy Regime and Fully Deregulate Sector: ¬The most pressing reform is the immediate removal of the fuel subsidy. A subsidy that costs N1.3tn, yet provides little or no benefits to the most vulnerable members of society, must be discontinued.
“Cancelling the fuel subsidy allows the country to focus on the equally important task of deregulating the entire oil sector, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and ensuring that it is subject to the competition and discipline of the open market.
“Furthermore, an enhanced Federal Government-led version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill shall be championed by our administration and complemented by a proposal for an amendment of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI Act) to achieve better governance, transparency and accountability in the sector.
“Reforming the oil sector for structural productivity gains is critical, regardless of the vision of our government to move away from resource dependency.”
She wondered why the number one citizen of the country preferred to head the NNPC when there are other challenges confronting the nation.
“Monies saved from subsidies will go into the creation of a $1.5bn Infrastructure Fund. I will be accountable to the Nigerian people and also sign binding Service Level Agreements on performance and accountability. I have no interest in becoming the ‘president of the NNPC’ when there are more important national issues being for attention,” she added.