The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has revealed that the federal government is no longer able to afford to provide fuel subsidies.
It stated that the subsidy regime was no longer viable and that wealthy Nigerians profited from it the most.
Mohammed Ahmed, Executive Vice-President, Gas, Power and New Energy, of the NNPCL, stated this on Friday at the third chance session, “Gas Opportunities,” of the Nigerian Oil and Gas chance Fair 2023.
The two-day event which began on Thursday was held at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board Conference Centre, Bayelsa. It had the theme, ‘The oil and gas industry: Catalyst and fuel for the industralisation of Nigeria’.
Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, revealed on Monday that Nigeria spent over N13tn subsidising petrol between 2005 and 2021, despite there being worries that the withdrawal of fuel subsidies will make life harder for Nigerians by increasing the price of fuel and other products.
Bola Tinubu, the incoming president, has pledged to end the subsidy regime during the election campaign.
In response to a participant’s query, Ahmed said that the country’s inability to fully utilise its gas resources was a result of a lack of funding from business entities and the general public.
He stated, “The problem is that people who are supposed to invest are not investing. I also want to put it on record that the NNPC of five years ago is not the NNPC of today. It is NNPCL today. What does that mean? It is a limited liability company and cannot, therefore, continue to speak for the government.
“But I want to say, by and large, subsidy or no subsidy, we have to graduate from diesel to gas and PMS to gas.
“Simply put, the Federal Government cannot continue to pay for your fuel. I can say this comfortably. It is your fuel (ostensibly referring to the audience) and not for those that are in the villages. They do not have two or three cars. You (in the urban areas) are the ones who may have these cars. So, who are we subsidising for?”
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