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Petrol subsidy: NGF, NLC blame NNPC for ‘mismanagement’ of oil proceeds

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have blamed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the mismanagement of the proceeds accrued from oil.

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, head of public affairs of the forum, in a statement on Wednesday, said this was part of the resolution of the two organisations’ meeting in Abuja on Wednesday at the NGF secretariat.

“The meeting which was held at the NGF secretariat in Maitama Abuja, brokered a partnership between the NGF and the NLC, as both parties agreed that the lacuna in the subsidy removal agenda was hidden in the untruths bandied by the administrators of the subsidy, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which both groups identify to be at the forefront of the mismanagement of the proceeds accrued therein,” a statement from the NGF reads.

The statement added that Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the NGF, argued that the nation’s economy is at the precipice… and that it has become necessary for the two groups to carefully verify NNPC’s estimates. 

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“Fayemi told the labour leadership that subsidy removal has remained an ongoing conversation not just among governors but the country at large and emphasised that governors cannot but be part of the solution providers in this onerous task that is confronting the nation,” the statement added.

“There are raging questions of accountability associated with subsidy removal in the country and observed that the NGF and the NLC can jointly work together to proffer solutions that heal the economy and provide succour to the Nigerian people.

“We need a partnership with the NLC to confront the challenges of what the NNPC is about… because there is a lot of fraud in the consumption and distribution figures that the country is getting and we can only move forward if the NLC engages all those who are knowledgeable in the field like PENGASSAN to conduct a thorough research into the sector before any further action is taken on subsidy.”

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According to the NGF chairman, only about eight states are benefitting directly from the subsidy, while all the others have to contend with the situation on their own.

“The partnership with the NLC must confront the perennial issue of palliatives for the common man towards cushioning the effects of subsidy removal on the citizenry,” Fayemi said.

“Finding succour for the ordinary Nigerian at this time is absolutely imperative and necessary now more than ever.”

Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, who joined the meeting virtually, warned that Nigeria has a choice of continuing to behave like Father Christmas (Santa Claus) or take concrete actions rather than throwing away N3 trillion on subsidy.

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He said the country would do well to revamp the power sector, virtually comatose.

“Without power, we will continue to throw millions of our people into unemployment, and ultimately, poverty, reminding all present that we should know that we have a country to manage,” he said.

Ayuba Waba, NLC president and Quadri Olaleye, TUC president, wondered why the subsidy issue had always been shrouded in secrecy on the part of the government.

The union leaders said the conflicting figures from the managers of the petroleum sector had always been objectionable.

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